Indian variant expected to rise across borough says Doncaster Council health chief

Doncaster Council’s top health chief has said he is expecting the Indian variant to increase across the borough and asked people to make ‘safe choices’ as the restrictions ease.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 4:28 pm
Rupert Suckling, Doncaster director of public health

Dr Rupert Suckling, Doncaster Council’s director of public health, said the borough was not in the 86 council areas across the country which has more than five cases of the new strain.

But like the Kent variant, Dr Suckling said it was ‘highly likely’ numbers of the Indian strain would increase across the borough.

Dr Suckling urged people to stay calm and asked people to continue to take part in twice-weekly testing and to isolate if they tested positive for the virus.

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He also urged people to get their vaccination when called upon.

The variant, first identified in India, is now spreading in the UK and appears to be spread as easily as the more highly transmissible Kent variant that now dominates UK infections.

Health Secretary Hancock told the House of Commons on Monday there were now over 2,300 confirmed cases of the Indian variant in the UK – a 77 per cent increase in just five days.

Mr Hancock said the Indian variant was now the dominant strain of the virus in Bolton as well as Blackburn and was rising in all age groups.

He said most people in hospitals in those areas had been eligible for a vaccine but had ‘chosen not to have it’.

“I know people will be concerned about the Indian variant following the Secretary of State’s announcement,” Dr Suckling said.

“I can confirm that Doncaster is not one of the 86 council’s with five or more confirmed cases that were mentioned in the briefing.

“But unfortunately, it is highly likely that we will see this variant increase locally as we saw in the Kent variant.

“Although we do expect to see the Indian variant in Doncaster in the coming weeks and months, there are things we can do to try and limit the risk that this will cause to our communities.

“While a number of restrictions have now been lifted, the virus is still circulating so continue to make safer choices on how to enjoy the wider reopening.”

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