The latest figures suggest the number of cases of the coronavirus Indian variant have increased by more than a half in a week in the Anglia region.
Data from the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Cambridge, which examines the detailed generic make-up on the virus, has revealed 252 cases in the week to 15 May compared to 167 during the previous seven days. That is a rise of 51%.
The highest concentration of cases in the region remains in Bedford where there were 126 instances of the variant B1617.2, which was first detected in India.
Bedford is among eight areas of England where people are being asked to take extra precautions to stop the spread of Covid. They include only meeting outside, staying at least 2 metres away from people outside your own household and not travelling in or out of the affected area.
Overall there were 1,305 positive tests for Covid-19 in the Anglia region in the week to 15 May and the Indian variant accounted for 19% of cases.
There is a time lag with the release of data involving the Indian variant because it takes longer to complete the scientific analysis of positive test samples.
There are now five areas of the Anglia region where more than half the Covid cases are the Indian variant.
Bedford - 81%
Central Bedfordshire - 70%
Chelmsford - 66%
East Northamptonshire - 62%
North Hertfordshire - 57%
No cases of the Indian variant have been found in 21 of the 54 local authority areas in the Anglia region.
The government guidance for areas, like Bedford, with rising cases and high levels of the Indian variant is to:
meet outside rather than inside where possible
keep 2 metres apart from people that you don’t live with including friends and family you don’t live with
avoid travelling in and out of affected areas unless it is essential, for example for work (if you cannot work from home) or education
You should also:
Get tested twice a week for free and isolate if you are positive
Continue to work from home if you can
The Anglia region consists of the East of England counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk along with Northamptonshire, Milton Keynes and Rutland
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