SURGE testing is being rolled out in parts of south London and Cumbria amid “rapidly rising” cases of the Delta variant first identified in India.
The additional Covid testing will help fight the spread and put Britain on track to unlock on July 19 after new infections soared 79 per cent in a week.
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Surge testing is being deployed in new areas amid rising Delta variant casesCredit: LNP
People are urged to get a Covid-19 PCR test even if they have no symptomsCredit: AFP
People who live in Lambeth are strongly encouraged to take a Covid-19 PCR test, whether or not they have symptoms.
The enhanced testing will begin today in Clapham, Brixton, Stockwell, West Norwood and Vauxhall.
Everyone aged 12 to 30 who lives, works or studies in Cumbria is also urged to get tested, whether symptomatic or not.
Those of school age will be offered testing at school.
So far, all the confirmed cases have been instructed to self-isolate and their contacts have been identified, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.
People in both surge testing areas should continue to make use of free twice-weekly lateral flow tests alongside the PCR tests, officials added.
Details of where and how to get tested are on the respective council websites.
The WHO has encouraged the use of new names for Covid variants
The number of people testing positive for the Delta variant is ‘rapidly rising’Credit: AFP
A spokesperson for Cumbria County Council said: “Covid-19 infections are rising rapidly in Cumbria.
“Public Health England’s proactive sequencing work, has shown that the new Delta variant of the virus is driving the increase.
“Every person living in Cumbria between the ages of 12 and 30 is now strongly encouraged to get a Covid-19 test, even if they are not showing symptoms.”
While the Lambeth Council website states: “We’re asking everyone that lives or works in Clapham, Brixton, Stockwell, West Norwood or Vauxhall to take a PCR test due to rising cases in these areas.”
This is up by 79 per cent on the previous week.
Due to its concerning features, the Government has held back on the last stage of lockdown lifting.
This will now happen on July 19, rather than June 21, so more people can get their jabs.
Dr Susan Hopkins revealed the estimate for new infections is “between 15,000 and 25,000”, adding Public Health England is now monitoring 25 Covid variants.
She told the Science and Technology Committee: “What we are seeing at the moment are about 7,000 to 8,000 infections per day – that’s what we’re detecting.
“But we know that that is less than half of what the true infections are in the community, and we’ve measured that a number of ways.
“So the estimate for current infections today is probably in the order of between 15,000 and 25,000 new infections today.
“It doesn’t take very many doublings to get to very large numbers.“
Yesterday saw a slight drop in daily cases, with 10,476 recorded and a further 11 deaths.
But Covid boffs said that despite the growing Delta variant figures, the outlook was positive, with the peak of the third wave expected in a matter of weeks.
Four in five adults in the UK have already had their first dose but the race is on to reach all eligible Brits before the expected lifting of restrictions next month.