More than 80% of Covid cases in Sunderland are new highly transmissible variant, says public health boss

Around eight in 10 confirmed cases in Sunderland are believed to be the new highly transmissible variant.

Wednesday, 3rd February 2021, 3:46 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd February 2021, 5:34 pm

The latest rolling rate shows 835 people test positive for the virus in the city in the seven days up to January 28 – a case rate of 300.7 per 100,000 people – which is significantly lower than when the third national lockdown was imposed.

Public health bosses now believe that 83% of Covid cases in Sunderland are the new variant which is highly transmissible.

Gerry Taylor, executive director of public health and integrated commissioning, said: “Every contact between people is an opportunity for the virus to spread and this is why there’s the Stay At Home, social distancing and reminders on face coverings and hand hygiene.

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A medical worker with a Covid swab testing kit at the laboratory. Photo by PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images

“At the moment around eight-out-of-ten (83 per cent) of our cases are thought to be the new variant, which is highly transmissible.

“Where we identify clusters of linked cases we will put in place measures to prevent further spread of the virus.”

The new UK variant is up to 70% more transmissible than the original virus and Boris Johnson has since said there is new evidence that the new variant may be associated with a higher degree of mortality.

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Evidence also appears to show the current vaccines are effective against both the old and new variants of the virus.

In Sunderland, the Covid case rate has dropped from 577.2 per 100,000 people on January 4 – when the Prime Minister announced the third lockdown – to 300.7 per 100,000 on January 28.

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