South African Covid-19 variant found in North Wembley

Map of enhanced covid testing area

People are urged to get tested after South African Covid variant found in North Wembley - Credit: Brent Council

Residents in North Wembley are being urged to get tested after a case of the South African Covid-19 variant was found in the area.

Everyone aged 16 and over who lives or works in an enhanced testing area around North Wembley, Wembley Park, Preston Road and South Kenton is being asked to take a PCR Covid-19 test, even if they are not showing any symptoms.

Testing will determine if the variant has spread in the community in a bid to suppress it.

The case of the South African variant cannot be traced back to international travel, Brent Council's public health chief said. 

Dr Melanie Smith, Brent's director of public health, added: “We’re encouraging all those living in the enhanced testing area to get tested so we can see how far – if at all – the virus has spread.


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“Not only will this enable us to find any more cases of the variant, but it may help us find more cases of Covid-19 in general, particularly from those not showing symptoms, and this will in turn help us reduce the spread of the virus in Brent.

“It doesn’t matter whether you have symptoms or not, please do the right thing and get tested to protect your family, friends and community.”

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Home testing kits are being delivered to a small number of addresses.

Those who test positive may be able to claim a £500 payment if they are on a lower income and cannot go to work because they are self-isolating.

Professor Kevin Fenton, regional director at Public Health England London, 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 North Wembley.

"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 guidance that is in place – 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.”

Those without symptoms can get tested on the first floor of Brent Civic Centre's testing site in Engineers Way between 8am and 8pm after booking online

Those with symptoms are being asked to get tested at either Northwick Park testing site in the Northwick Park Sports Pavilion, which is open from 8am to 12 noon, or the Wembley Testing Site in London Road, which is open from 8am to 8pm.

To book, call 020 8937 4440 or visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

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