Covid-19 surge testing: Brazilian variant found in Muswell Hill

A Community safety patrol officer hands a coronavirus test to a resident in Bramley Green, Hampshire

Testing kits will be dropped at people's homes - Credit: PA

A case of the Brazilian variant of Covid-19 has been found in Muswell Hill, as enhanced testing is deployed in N10.  

Residents living in affected postcodes in N10 over the age of 16 are being “strongly encouraged” to take a Covid test this week, even if they are not showing symptoms.

Testing will begin this weekend by Haringey and Barnet councils to help prevent any possible spread, after the positive case was picked up in a N10 postcode in Haringey, through surge testing.  

Haringey Council leader Cllr Joseph Ejiofor said: “We have no reason to think that this variant poses any more threat than the dominant strain of COVID-19, but let’s make no mistake – our battle with Covid-19 is not over and everyone must play their part in stopping further spread.  

“I would urge all in the Muswell Hill area who are asked to come forward for further testing, to do so.  

“Detecting any spread is the only way that we can safeguard our communities from this new variant.” 

A mix of door-to-door test kit drops and mobile testing units will be used, and residents will be able to drop completed tests off at collection hubs.    

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A list of affected postcodes, mobile testing units and collection hub locations will go up on Haringey and Barnet councils’ websites. 

Both local authorities have told residents in the affected postcodes to expect leaflets with further instructions in the coming days.   

Cllr Daniel Thomas, leader of Barnet Council, said: “The Brazilian variant of Covid-19 was detected in an N10 postcode in Haringey.  

“There is no evidence at present that they have passed the infection further. However, we are working closely with colleagues in Haringey Council to introduce door-to-door testing and to deploy mobile testing units to encourage residents to get tested so that we can see if it has spread any further.” 

When knocking on doors, the testing teams will be wearing council jackets and have PPE. They will maintain a safe distance, and have ID for either Haringey or Barnet council. 

For transmissibility and the risk of severe illness, the Brazilian variant appears to be similar to the dominant UK variant.  

There is currently no evidence that existing Covid vaccines will not work against the Brazilian variant.  

Fore more information visit the websites of Haringey Council or Barnet Council.