No known cases of the new ‘Indian’ Covid variant within Devon

Indian variant of Covid-19

Indian variant of Covid-19 - Credit: PA

There are no known cases of the Indian variant of coronavirus in Devon at the moment, the county council has said.

The new variant, which was first identified in India, is thought to spread more easily between people, and the current vaccines are still effective against it.

Currently those cases are highest in council areas of Bedford, Blackburn with Darwen, Bolton, Burnley, Kirklees, Leicester, London Borough of Hounslow, and North Tyneside.

In those areas, public health leads and the local NHS are boosting testing and vaccinations, and supporting people to self-isolate.

But Devon County Council has confirmed that there are no known cases of the variant so far within the county, but as people plan to visit friends and families during the half term holiday, Public Health Devon is advising people to be cautious.

“If you must travel to any of those locations, please be extra cautious,” said Steve Brown, director of Public Health Devon.

“Try to meet outside with family or friends rather than inside where possible. And please keep 2 metres apart from people that you don’t live with (unless you have formed a support bubble with them), and this includes friends and family who you do not live with.”

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He added: “Lateral flow tests are quick and easy to do. Making them part of your regular weekly routine – especially when catching up with friends and family – will help to identify positive cases among people who may not be showing symptoms, so that they can self-isolate.

“If you are away visiting friends and family this holiday, please remember to take tests with you, and take them again on your return home. Testing and self-isolating if positive are how we stop the virus spreading.”

Infection rates in Devon are currently 9.6/100,000, among the lowest in England, although are slightly up on the 7.9/100,000 the county was at this time last week.

In the seven day period of May 14-20, only Chillington, Torcross & Stoke Fleming (9), South Molton (7),  Loddiswell & Dartington (3), Ogwell, Mile End & Teigngrace (3), and St Thomas East (3) at an MSOA level recorded three or more cases in Devon.