First cases of Indian variant of Covid confirmed in Sheffield and all this week's Coronavirus developments
Sheffield City Council has confirmed that there has been a ‘small number’ of cases of the Indian variant of Covid-19 in the city.
The Indian variant, which is significantly more infectious than other strains of the virus, is behind spikes in the number of cases in other parts of the country, including Bolton.
Sheffield’s director of public health Greg Fell confirmed the presence of the strain in Sheffield on Tuesday. The exact number has not been confirmed.
It is also not known what proportion of new cases in Sheffield detected are the Indian variant.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said it was not possible to say whether the spread of the Indian variant would impact the progress of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.
It comes as figures this week showed Sheffield’s Covid case rate has risen again and is now the 10th highest in England.
There were 297 new cases of Covid-19 recorded in Sheffield during the seven days to May 13 giving a weekly rate of 50.8 cases per 100,000 people. That’s up from 265 cases and a rate of 45.3 during the previous week.
Also this week, pharmacies in Sheffield have been able to start giving the Covid-19 vaccine. The first three to do so were Wicker Pharmacy and Page Hall Pharmacy with more to come.
Anyone aged 40 or over living in the region can book to have their jab at the local pharmacies as via the national NHS Covid-19 vaccine booking system (Book a coronavirus vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk) or by calling free on 119.
And Sheffield’s city council has become one of the first in the country to run its Covid-19 track and trace programme completely in house, and aims to use its local knowledge to manage the system more effectively than central Government did.
The council has recruited a team of tracers who work with residents who may have been exposed to the virus and have already seen a rapid rise in track and trace success rate which now stands at 95 per cent of all positive cases contact traced.