'Indian variant' of Covid-19 found in Islington


Worlingham Pharmacy has opened this week in Beccles as a new vaccination centre. - Credit: PA

A "very small number" of Covid cases of the "Indian variant" have been found in Islington.

Latest figures published by the Wellcome Sanger Institute show two cases of Covid-19 variant B.1.617.2 recorded in Islington up until May 15.

The strain, first identified in India, is thought to be more transmissible than previous forms of coronavirus.

Latest data from the council show there were five new coronavirus cases on average each day in the week leading to May 2, at which point Islington had 15,034 confirmed cases - 2.1 per cent of London’s total.

A council spokesperson said: “We are aware of a very small number of cases of Covid-19 variant B.1.617.2 in Islington.

"The cases are isolating and their contacts have been traced.

"Activity to contain and suppress variant cases - such as tracing and testing contacts, and self-isolation - has been going on for some time across London and in Islington, and continues to take place."

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Lockdown rules were eased on Monday (May 17) meaning people are now socialising in pubs and restaurants, cinemas and theatres. Some fear this could enable the variant to spread more rapidly.

The council's safety chief, Cllr Sue Lukes, said: “Cases of Covid-19 in Islington and across London have fallen significantly and continue to decrease. However, the presence of variants of concern in London means we all need to keep doing our bit to take care of each other and our loved ones.

“We can all help keep each other safe.  Please stay local, for shopping and entertainment: we work hard to make all Islington premises safe."

She continued: “Please get rapid lateral flow tests frequently, even if you don’t have symptoms. If you have symptoms, it’s very important to get a PCR test, self-isolate and stay at home.

“No one is safe until we are all safe, and we will be all be safer once we’re all vaccinated. Please get the vaccine when your turn comes - it’s absolutely vital and one of the best ways to help keep yourself and others safe."

Vaccinations are available at the Business Design Centre at the Angel and various pop-up clinics. Call 020 7527 8222 to book a vaccine.