Covid-19 surge testing in East Finchley after South African variant appears

Barnet Council leader Dan Thomas said discrimination, prejudice or hateful comments “should not be t

Barnet Council are rolling out 'surge testing' to contain the South African Covid-19 variant - Credit: Archant

"Surge testing" is taking place in East Finchley this week, after a case of the South African variant of Covid-19 was identified in the area.

Barnet Council's public health team is working with NHS Test and Trace and will be going door-to-door, encouraging anyone over 16 to take a test. 

The new South African variant case has caused alarm as it is not thought to be connected to any international travel, but public health bosses do not believe the individual passed it on. 

The testing team members will be wearing blue high-vis vests saying "Test Centre", along with PPE and identification saying they are working for the council. 

Cllr Daniel Thomas, leader of Barnet Council, urged locals to get tested, and take up invitations to get a vaccine when they arrived.

A second mobile testing unit is in place in Brent Street, Hendon.

Professor Kevin Fenton, London regional director for Public Health England, said: “All viruses mutate over time and since the start of the pandemic over 4,000 mutations have been identified in the UK. Most are not a concern for scientists, but we know that some mutations result in virus variants that we are keen to track more carefully."

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