United Kingdom detects S.African coronavirus variant in people with no travel links
Feb 02 2021
Andy Slavitt, senior adviser to the White House COVID-19 response team, said that the $30 at-home tests, produced by Australian-based company Ellume, are 95 percent effective at detecting the virus.
Positive cases will be analysed to see if they are caused by the South African variant.
The health secretary said the the door-to-door testing regime, along with enhanced contact tracing efforts, was an attempt to "come down on it hard".
Canada on Monday reported its first case of a coronavirus variant that emerged in South Africa that is believed to be more contagious than the original.
What are the latest lockdown rules?
As of Monday, Ontario has confirmed 69 cases of the United Kingdom variant, also known as B.1.1.7. Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said more than 90,000 Americans died of complications from COVID-19 in January, making it the deadliest month of the pandemic to date.
However, in six of the eight places seeing new cases of the variant in the last week, the infections were found in just single people rather than clusters.
Public health officials are watching the spread of the variants carefully as they determine whether to life province-wide lockdowns that are scheduled to end February 10, Williams said.
Surrey County Council said the Surrey Local Resilience Forum is working with Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health to carry out a localised "surge testing" programme in the Goldsworth Park and St Johns areas of Woking.
"The speed and scale at which new vaccines have been developed is unprecedented in human history and represents the monumental progress that humanity has achieved in the face of a common threat", he said.
Positive tests in the areas will be sequenced to identify any further spread of the variant.
Echoing Mr Hancock, Dr Susan Hopkins from Public Health England told the briefing there was no evidence at this stage that the South African variant resulted in a more serious disease in those infected.
There is now no evidence that the variant causes more severe illness.
Mobile testing units and home testing kits will be deployed to areas where the COVID-19 variant has been.
"The more cases of the variant we find, the better chance we have at stopping it spreading".
The president said that South Africa is now experiencing its lowest daily increase in Covid-19 infections since December 2020, with the number steadily dropping over the past three weeks.
- The Government has ordered an extra 40 million doses of the Valneva Covid-19 vaccine, which has not yet been approved for use.
The individual is recovering at home, Peel Public Health said in a news release issued on Monday.
The company said its vaccine should still offer sufficient protection against the variant. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. In Scotland anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.