Small number of Indian variant cases found in Black Country

Health experts are focussing on two areas of Dudley borough as a precautionary measure after a small number of cases of the Indian variant were identified.

Dudley Council is tracking a very small number of cases of the Indian variant in Halesowen and Brierley Hill. People in those towns who have symptoms, or have been in contact with someone with a positive test, should get a standard coronavirus PCR test.

People across the whole Dudley borough are being asked to remain vigilant. There are no current plans for setting up additional testing, following advice from Public Health England, but the council is continuing to monitor the situation closely. Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member elect for health and adult social care, said:

"I would like to reassure people that at the moment there is no evidence to say that the variant puts people at greater risk but we do know it has a higher transmission rate, which is why it’s really important people get tested so that we can identify any further cases of this strain.

"This will help track undetected positive cases and prevent the spread of the virus any further. With restrictions easing next week, this is a reminder to us all that the virus is still with us and we need to proceed with caution.

"It’s really important people continue to follow hands, face, space and fresh air guidance, get tested regularly and have the vaccine when it’s offered."

People can find out where Dudley’s test sites are by visiting PCR tests need to be carried out for anyone with symptoms, who feels unwell or who has come into contact with anyone with a positive test. Samples will also be checked for variants. A full list of symptoms and how to book a test is available on the council’s website.

People are being reminded to stay vigilant and follow the government guidelines, getting a test and isolating if symptomatic, washing hands, wearing a face covering wherever possible and adhering to social distancing guidelines.


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