Testing ramped up as South African Covid-19 variant identified in Croydon

By Tara O’Connor

The South African variant of Covid-19 has been identified in New Addington and Fieldway, meaning that testing in the area has been ramped up.

Additional testing will start up tomorrow and adults are being urged to get tested as soon as possible.

The area is the latest in the UK where a Covid-19 case with the variant without a link to international travel has been identified.

No additional measures are in place and normal lockdown rules apply.

Mobile testing units will be set up in car parks at Timebridge Centre, Fieldway  and Queen Elizabeth Drive, New Addington from 8.30am-3pm daily.

Home tests can also be picked up from Timebridge Centre, Fieldway or New Addington Library, Central Parade from 11am-3pm, Monday –Saturday.

Appointments must be booked in advance through the council website – residents cannot use the national booking system for these tests. For more information and to book visit www.croydon.gov.uk/CovidTest

Croydon’s director of public health, Rachel Flowers, said: “By getting tested, you can help to prevent the virus spreading, protecting yourself and your loved ones, while enabling better understanding of this variant.

“There is currently no evidence to suggest this variant of Covid-19 is more serious than others, or that the vaccine would not protect against it.

“The most important thing is that people continue to follow the guidance that is in place – follow the lockdown rules and remember hands, face, space – wash your hands, cover your face and keep your distance from others.

“If you test positive by any method, you must isolate to stop the spread of the virus.”

Everyone over the age of 16 is being urged to get a test even if they have no symptoms and they have already been vaccinated.

Croydon Council will also be going door-to-door, delivering home test kits to some addresses in the area.

Residents who are clinically extremely vulnerable should continue to follow shielding guidance and should not leave their home to get a test.

And anyone who has tested positive for Covid-19 in the last two weeks does not need to get tested again.

The additional testing is expected to last for two weeks and anyone who tests positive will be asked to self-isolate immediately.

Those who have Covid-19 symptoms should get tested in the usual way by booking online at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

Professor Kevin Fenton, London regional director at Public Health England, 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 New Addington and Fieldway.

“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.”




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