North Tyneside Emergency Covid Surge.
North Tyneside Council says it has begun work on its plan to combat the spread of the more transmissible Indian coronavirus variant. Health bosses in North Tyneside have begun working with the Government to rollout emergency testing and vaccinations after the fast-spreading Indian coronavirus variant was found in the borough.
The coronavirus infection rate nearly doubled over the last week, jumping from 22 to 42 per 100,000, and North Tyneside Council says the concerning strain has now been detected in a number of different areas.
It was one of a small number of areas singled out by the Government for special intervention on Wednesday, with surge testing and more vaccinations offered to everyone who is eligible.
Following the announcement, a North Tyneside Council spokesperson said the authority “notes the announcement and is in discussion with the Government about how and where it will mobilise testing and the extra vaccinations”, adding that more details would be provided “once available”.
According to current evidence, there’s no suggestion that the variant is more resistant to vaccination, nor that it causes more serious illness. But scientists say it does spread more rapidly, and could be up to 50% more transmissible.
While there is no current evidence that the Indian variant causes more serious illness and it does not seem to escape the vaccine, it does appear to pass to others more easily.
Locals are now being urged to get tested regularly, whether or not they have symptoms, and take up vaccination as soon as it’s offered.
North Tyneside Director of Public Health, Wendy Burke said: “Keeping Covid-19 rates as low as possible is our number one priority to protect the public and to prevent more dangerous variants from circulating.
“This testing is really important, it means we can identify cases, trace those who may have been in contact with them and contain the spread of the virus.
“Once more details are available, I would urge those in the identified areas of the borough to please take part in the testing and have their vaccine if eligible.
“We’d like to offer reassurance that this is a precaution and North Tyneside is not subject to extra or different restrictions. However, this acts as a reminder to us all that the virus is still out there and it’s as important as ever to follow the national guidelines and public health advice.”