More areas of the UK to have surge testing amid Indian variant

Matt Hancock has announced the deployment of surge testing in more areas of the country including Hounslow, Leicester and North Tyneside. He told the Commons: “In the last week across Bolton and Blackburn with Darwen we have given 26,094 jabs as well as delivering 75,000 extra tests. “But this challenge is not restricted to Bolton and Blackburn.

We have used the extensive bio-security surveillance system that we have built and new techniques to identify the areas we are most concerned about where we will now surge testing and vaccinations further.” Mr Hancock continued: “As a result of all this analysis, I can tell the House that we will now have surge testing and vaccinations in Bedford, Burnley, Hounslow, Kirklees, Leicester and North Tyneside – and we are supporting the Scottish Government, who are taking similar action in Glasgow and Moray. “What this means in practice is we are putting in place more testing and more testing sites.

On vaccinations, we are making more vaccinations available to everyone who is eligible.”

The Health Secretary added that “we are not yet opening up vaccinations to those who are 35 and younger”. Matt Hancock has confirmed that 2,967 cases of the B1617.2 variant have now been identified. He said: “With more than 70% of adults now having had a first dose, and almost two-fifths already double-vaccinated, we have much to celebrate.

“Vaccination underpins our road map which means we can now have pints in pubs and hugs in homes.

“Yet, as I updated the House on Monday, the race between the virus and the vaccine has got a whole lot closer.

I can tell the House that 2,967 cases of Covid-19 with the B1617.2 variant have now been identified.”

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