Stark reminder of Covid after spike in cases of Indian variant

Residents are being urged to follow Covid-19 guidelines after the Indian variant was found in neighbouring North Tyneside.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 11:00 am
Liz Morgan, director of Public Health at Northumberland County Council.

Following a sharp rise in coronavirus cases and detection of a variant first identified in India, surge testing and the offer of vaccinations will get underway in North Tyneside shortly.

The number of cases in North Tyneside has increased from 22 to 53 per 100,000 in the last week and the Indian variant has been detected in different areas of the borough.

Figures show one person died in hospital at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust from May 18 to 19 as a result of Covid.

Health officials in Northumberland are monitoring the situation and are urging people to continue following the ‘Hands face Space Fresh Air’ regulations.

Liz Morgan, Director of Public Health at Northumberland County Council, said: "This is a stark reminder that Covid is still with us.

"Some areas of the country have seen an increase in infection rates and recent cases in the region have been linked to new variants of concern, which appear to be more easily passed on.

"We are monitoring the situation closely, but the way people can protect themselves remains the same.

"One of the best ways you can do this is to have the vaccine so I would urge everyone to take up that offer, especially if you're over 50 or have a long-term medical condition, remembering that the greatest protection is achieved after both doses.

"We do still have many people who are unvaccinated though and that means we have a large pool of people in which the virus could spread which could in turn give rise to more dangerous variants emerging.

"So even though the restrictions have relaxed, please be cautious and continue to follow the Hands Face Space Fresh Air rules as no vaccine is 100% effective.

"Testing ourselves regularly at home using the rapid-turnaround tests, even if we feel well, provides another tool in the battle against the virus, as one in three of us may be carrying Covid and passing it to others without knowing.

"Finally, it's really important to self-isolate and book a PCR test if symptoms develop and if that test does come back as positive, to respond to Test and Trace services to quickly identify close contacts and prevent possible outbreaks."