All eyes on NHS Test and Trace following outbreak of COVID-19 variant in South London

13 April 2021

Responding to news that surge testing is being rolled out across parts of South London after 44 cases of the South African variant of COVID-19 were confirmed with a further 33 probable cases, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said:

"This is a worrying development.

"New variants now pose the greatest threat to our efforts to control the pandemic.

"All eyes will be on the NHS Test and Trace system to see how effective it is at bringing this outbreak under control.

"While it is positive that surge testing and enhanced contact tracing have been rolled out so rapidly across parts of South London, this will only be a success if new cases of the COVID-19 variant are contained.

"This is even more important following the easing of lockdown restrictions yesterday, which will inevitably lead to more social mixing and opportunities for COVID-19 to spread. We would encourage everyone to get tested, whether or not they have COVID-19 symptoms.

"It is vital the government only commits to further relaxation of the lockdown rules when the data says it is safe to do so. This will help ensure that the current lockdown is the last."

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