Ealing Council is asking West Ealing and Hanwell residents to get coronavirus test, even if they do not have symptoms, after local resident tests positive for South African variant

By Dimitris Kouimtsidis

26th Aug 2021 | Local News

This comes after a local resident tested positive to the new variant in December
This comes after a local resident tested positive to the new variant in December

EALING Council is asking those who live or work in West Ealing and Hanwell to get a coronavirus test, even if they don't have symptoms, after a local resident tested positive for the South African variant.

The individual is understood to have tested positive at the end of December, despite not having travelled to South Africa or been in contact with anyone who had.

The person who has not been named, has now made a full recovery.

National test and trace officials discovered that several areas throughout the country had the strain after randomly sampling 5% of all positive tests.

News that someone in the borough had this strain of the virus was shared with Ealing Council last week.

Since then, the Council has been working with government officials and colleagues in Public Health England to set up further testing in the borough.

Residents are now being urged to get tested in order to understand if the new strain is present and to contain any further cases in the area.

To support this testing, a walk-through mobile testing unit for people without symptoms has been set up at Dean Gardens Car Park, Leeland Terrace in West Ealing – those with symptoms should book elsewhere.

Free home tests will also be delivered to every household – around 5,500 - in the identified area of W7 and W13 over the coming week.

Residents will be asked to complete the test and hand it back to the collection service.

Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable and are shielding are asked to wait for the delivery of the home test kits and not attend the Dean Gardens car park test centre.

Council leader, Julian Bell said: "I know people will be concerned to hear that a member of our community had the South African strain of the virus last month.

"I am very pleased that they have made a full recovery and want to thank them for staying at home during the self-isolation period which should have helped to lessen the spread.

"I urge people living or working in the area with or without symptoms to get tested so that any others with this variant can be identified to protect them, their loved ones and the wider community.

"The government has told us that there is currently no evidence that this variant causes more severe illness or that the regulated vaccine would not protect against it.

"Other than getting tested or other essential reasons, all residents are urged to follow the lockdown rules and stay home, wash your hands regularly, keep your distance from others and wear a face covering."

Professor Kevin Fenton, London regional director at Public Health England, said: "The UK has one of the best genomic systems in the world which has allowed us to detect the variant originating in South Africa here in London.

"I urge everyone offered a test to take it up to help us to monitor the virus in our communities and to help suppress and control the spread of this variant.

"The most important thing is that people continue to follow the national lockdown guidance that is in place – stay at home as much as possible, limit your number of contacts, wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, keep your distance and cover your face.

"If you test positive by any method, you must isolate to stop the spread of the virus."


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