Home Kent News Enhanced testing for Indian COVID variant as second Kent hotspot emerges

Enhanced testing for Indian COVID variant as second Kent hotspot emerges

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Original article from Kent Live

Maidstone residents are being urged to take coronavirus tests following an increase in the number of Indian variant cases.

Kent's new Director of Public Health Dr Allison Duggal confirmed that 20 new cases had been discovered, most of which were in the ME14 1 postcode area in Maidstone town centre.

She said some were believed to have come from the Quaker Meeting House in Union Street.

Anyone who lives or works in the ME14 1 postcode area or who has visited properties in the area within the last month is advised to visit the mobile testing unit stationed outside the Quaker Meeting House.

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It will be open from tomorrow (Friday June 4) until Monday (June 5) between 9am and 5pm and is open to anyone over the age of 12 who is asymptomatic.

Dr Allison Duggal said: "The reason we are doing is is we have had a number of Delta variant cases in the ME14 area.

"The best thing to do is for us to jump on it straight away and take appropriate action."

Dr Duggal said up-to-date Indian variant cases numbers were due to be published today.

The latest figures available showed 11 cases in Maidstone in the week up to May 21, up from just three cases the week before.

Significant rises were also recorded elsewhere in the county, and Dr Duggal did not rule out ordering enhanced testing at further locations.

She said: "When we see a rise in cases there's a risk assessment that takes place.

"If we can can explain all the cases straight away that puts our mind our rest and in a better position to make decisions.

"We may be looking at mobile testing units in other locations and we have some meetings coming up on that."

Canterbury continues to be the worst affected in Kent with 42 new cases in the last recorded week, between May 15 and May 21, compared to just 12 the week before.

Despite the rise in cases, Dr Duggal previously said she remains "really hopeful" that lockdown easing would continue as scheduled, with most remaining restrictions due to be lifted on June 21.

Original Article