Covid: Indian variant cases confirmed in Wakefield district, council says

Cases of the rapidly-spreading Indian variant of Covid have been confirmed in the Wakefield district.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 3:41 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 3:42 pm

Wakefield Council said "fewer than five cases" had been recorded in recent days.

It follows Health Secretary Matt Hancock's statement on Monday that the Indian variant had been identified in 86 different parts of the UK.

The council said that all of the cases reported in Wakefield were linked to travel and that those who had tested positive were following self-isolation rules.

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The government is ramping up the vaccine programme in response to the new variant.

Anna Hartley, the local director of public health, said: "We can confirm that a small number of cases of the Indian variant of Covid-19 have been confirmed in our district.

"We want to reassure residents that these cases are related to travel and those affected have self-isolated in line with guidance.

"Any close contacts are also self-isolating. The risk of wider community transmission is extremely low."

The government has urged those who've turned down the Covid vaccine to reconsider following the arrival of the Indian variant in the UK.

Bolton and Bury, in Greater Manchester, are among those hardest hit by the variant, which experts believe spreads faster than its original mutation.

However, it is believed the vaccines remain effective against the variant.

On Monday, local figures indicated a drop in the overall number of Covid cases in Wakefield, while the number of those being treated at Pinderfields Hospital to the virus fell into single digits for the first time in 2021.

Local Democracy Reporting Service