Surge testing will take place for the Brazil Manaus Covid variant - full list of locations

Monday, 1st March 2021, 11:36 am
Updated Monday, 1st March 2021, 11:36 am
Health officials are racing to detect any new cases of the so-called Brazil variant (Photo: Shutterstock)

Five new UK areas are to begin surge coronavirus testing in a race to find any new cases of the Manaus Covid variant, first identified in Brazil.

Health officials announced on Sunday (28 Feb), that the variant - first emerging out of the Brazilian city Manaus - had been detected in several places across the UK.

Three cases were detected in England, and three in Scotland with Public Health England (PHE) saying the Scottish and English cases are not linked to one another.

Where did the UK cases come from?

The three English cases have been detected in South Gloucestershire, with health officials saying two out of the three cases are linked to a household with a travel history in Brazil. The third case is yet to be identified as the patient did not give their full contact details.

The Government is now urging anyone without a test result from February 12 or 13 to come forward.

In Scotland, the three cases came from people who flew into north east Scotland from Brazil via Paris and London. These people all isolated for the mandatory 10 days upon their return.

The Scottish Government said it is in the process of contacting all the other passengers who shared the same flight as these three people.

Surge testing

In England, five postcode areas in South Gloucestershire are to undergo surge testing for the variant, with anyone aged over 16 without symptoms of the virus being asked to come forward.

The postcode areas are BS32 0, BS32 8, BS32 9, BS34 5 and BS34 6 and fall within fall within Bradley Stoke, Patchway and Little Stoke.

Anyone who has to travel into these areas for work or other essential reasons is also able to get a Covid test, provided they have no symptoms of the virus.

It is not yet clear whether any surge testing will take place in Scotland in the area where the variant of concern has been discovered.

It's feared the variant will be more transmissible and possibly more resistant to vaccines, though health officials have commented that more work will need to be done to establish what risk the Manaus variant poses.