A brand new medical gadget facility is to be opened in Africa
Blocking entire streets could be a way to stop new Covid variants, says an expert
Blocking entire streets could be an important way of keeping outbreaks of new Covid variants under control, an expert has suggested. Dr. Jeffrey Barrett, director of the Covid-19 Genomics Initiative at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, said using interventions to minimize asymptomatic transmission could be critical. On BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Dr. Barrett said it was important to take “the most effective measures” to contain these outbreaks. When asked if closing entire streets would have medical implications for a number of cases, he replied, “Well it certainly could, because one of the hardest parts of this virus overall is, of course, that some infected people don’t have symptoms and so they can transfer. “Trying to use interventions that could stop asymptomatic transmission could be an important part of keeping outbreaks of these new variants as small as possible.” He added that there may be a “chance” that new variants will be “less well neutralized”. through vaccines, so “it’s really important to be able to try and get that number as close to zero as possible”. Restrictions so far have kept the number of new variants “very small,” he said, adding, “And as the restrictions If this is lifted, it will be important to watch if that number ever increases from week to week, and when yes, it is really important to take the most effective measures to contain these outbreaks. “One effective measure to contain outbreaks is to use surge tests, he added. In the boroughs in south London, the surge tests have now been expanded after cases of the South African variant B.1.351 were discovered. Three counties have set up additional testing facilities to process thousands of residents who are eligible for testing. Tests were offered to more than half a million adults living in counties in south London, including 264,000 in Lambeth, 265,000 in Wandsworth and 14,800 in Rotherhithe parish in Southwark. A case of the variant was also discovered in Barnet, north London, and home test kits were delivered door-to-door in zip code N3 on Thursday. The Department of Health and Welfare (DHSC) confirmed that the Barnet case was unrelated to other clusters but was isolated and the person’s contacts were traced. The additional tests came as a new analysis found that the Covid-19 rate fell below 100 cases per 100,000 people in all regions of the UK for the first time since September. A total of 19,196 people in England tested positive for Covid-19 at least once a week through April 7, at least once a week. This is evident from the latest test and trace numbers. That’s a 34 percent decrease from the previous week and the lowest number since the week ended September 2, 2020.