Anxious wait on Southport Covid-19 South African variant

Share Button

Teams are beng trained for door-to-door appeal to get tested

The chief executive of Sefton Council has described an anxious wait to see if the Covid-19 South African variant has spread in Southport.

The town is currently part of a national programme to identify cases of the new variant with residents being asked to get tested.

Since two cases of the South African variant were found in the Norwood area and Dukes ward in Southport, door-to-door knocking has started in these areas as well the Cambridge ward.

Residents from the Norwood area and Dukes and Cambridge wards have been asked to get tested for this variant of the virus.

Southport residents have responded well with a 70% testing success rate from door-to-door knocking and many people going along to the test centres.

People will find out if they have coronavirus within 72 hours of being tested but it takes around week for the South African variant to be identified.

Chief Executive of Sefton Council, Dwayne Johnson said: “It just means that the waiting for us is a bit more anxious to see whether or not we have got more people with the variant.

“The reason we need to have the testing sites and the door-to-door knocking is to identify whether or not there are other people, groups of people, businesses or particular areas in the Southport postcode that have got the South African variant.”

Not only will testing alert residents and the council to any further spread of the South African variant but will also help establish better understanding of the new variant.

Mr Johnson said: “It will help our scientists to do more studies, if it is detected, on the South African variant which will help us when modifying any vaccines, if we need too.”

As part of the national programme, along with 11 other areas in the UK, Sefton Council meet with UK Public Health and scientists every day for advice and guidance.

The testing is expected to remain in place for at least two more weeks as Southport continues to closely monitor potential cases of the new variant.

About Steph Colderick, JMU Journalism