Almost a dozen cases of Indian variant recorded across Broxtowe

Up to ten cases of the Indian variant of coronavirus were detected across Broxtowe earlier this month, new figures reveal.

Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 2:58 pm
Ten positive cases of the S-gene were discovered in Broxtowe between May 8 and 14.

Public Health England has been tracking the spread of the B.1.617.2 mutation – which originated in India – by testing positive Covid-19 cases across the country for an "S-gene".

The gene is not present in the dominant Kent variant, which was responsible for a surge in cases over the winter, but is present in other variants of concern, including those from India.

Scientists have determined that the vast majority of the S-gene specimens identified across England in May are the Indian variant.

PHE identified ten positive cases of the S-gene in Broxtowe between May 8 and 14.

The health body had previously reported that four cases were detected in the area between May 2 and 8, but warned that it has counted any tests conducted on May 8 twice.

The majority of areas in England have now reported at least one case.

The data shows 6,729 S-gene positive cases were recorded in England between the start of March and May 11 – up from 4,363 by May 5.

Of these, 668 (ten per cent) were in the East Midlands – the fourth largest proportion of England's nine regions.

PHE analysis suggests that of a national sample of 1,192 positive S-gene specimens, 93 per cent were found to be the B.1.617.2 Indian mutation.

The data comes as a separate PHE study found both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines were highly effective against the Indian strain after a second dose.

From June 21 at the earliest, nightclubs are due to reopen and restrictions on large events such as festivals are to be lifted, as are restrictions on the number of people at weddings.

Professor Adam Finn, a member of the Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, fears ‘adjustments’ may be made to the lifting.

He said: “We’re effectively in a race with the vaccine programme against the virus.

“We know that we’re letting the virus out by spreading it about now, we know that we’re progressing well with the vaccine programme, but I think there’s going to need to be an adjustment of some sort.”​​​​​​​