Surge testing deployed in Derbyshire to stop spread of Indian variant

SURGE testing has been deployed in Derbyshire to stop the spread of the Indian Covid variant.

A "small number of cases" of the variant has been found in a hotspot, as officials work to nip any outbreak in the bud.

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All confirmed cases have been ordered to isolate and their contacts have been told.

Anyone over five in Gamesley Ward, High Peak has been asked to take a PCR Covid test from today.

A Government statement said: "Enhanced contact tracing will be used for individuals testing positive with a variant of concern (VOC). This is where contact tracers look back over an extended period to determine the route of transmission.

"By using PCR tests, positive results are then sent for genomic sequencing at specialist laboratories, helping us to identify COVID-19 cases with a variant of concern and prevent their spread.

"If you have symptoms you should book a free test online or by phone. You can then go to a testing site or have a kit sent to your home.

"If you have no symptoms, you should visit the local authority’s website for more information.

"People in this local area should continue to make use of free twice-weekly rapid tests, commonly known as lateral flow devices or LFDs, alongside the PCR test as part of surge testing."

Mass testing has been rolled out in various UK spots to stop any outbreaks of variants.


Most recently residents living in the CT1 and CT2 postcodes of Canterbury were urged to get tested at one of five mobile testing centres over the next two weeks.

Meanwhile, Indian variant hotspot Bolton has seen its Covid infection rate plunge more than 10 per cent in less than a week.

A ramped-up vaccination drive and mass testing has led to a huge drop in cases in the Lancashire town in a four-day period.

Last week, Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation member Adam Finn warned a delay to this month's reopening is better than having to shut down again.

Asked whether final restrictions should be lifted on June 21, Professor Finn, told LBC radio: "I fear it may be a bad decision to go with it."

Ministers want to scrap social distancing, but keep face masks and work from home guidance in place after June 21. 

The Indian strain is behind almost three quarters of all cases in the UK and has been found in more than 250 of England's 300-plus authorities. 

But the success of the UK's vaccine rollout is believed to be responsible for recent low death tolls – despite rising cases of the Indian mutation.


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