Cases of Indian variant of Covid confirmed in the South West - including in Wiltshire and Bath

Coronavirus cases in Bristol are starting to fall.
Coronavirus marshalls pictured in Bristol. Mayor Marvin Rees has confirmed there are now 39 cases of the Indian variant in the South West. Credit: PA

There have been 39 confirmed cases of the Indian variant of coronavirus in the South West.

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees confirmed the news at a press conference on Wednesday 19 May. He said: "[There are] 39 cases of the Indian variant of concern across the South West."

He said he did not have the numbers broken down by local authority but confirmed two thirds of those 39 cases are related to travel and six cases are still under investigation.

He said overall Bristol as a city is still below the national average when it comes to Covid-19 cases - with 15 new cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days. The England average is 23.

Case rates across the West Country remain low - with 544 people testing positive across the region in the past seven days and a rolling case rate of 97 per 100,000 people.

We continue just to ask people not to live in fear but to be cautious, particularly as we begin to unlock the economy

Cases of Indian variant in Wiltshire and Bath and North East Somerset

According to the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the Indian variant - which is thought to be more transmissible than the Kent variant which has become the country's dominant strain - had been found in both the Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) and Wiltshire council areas.

In the two weeks leading up to Saturday 8 May, a third of cases in BANES and just under half (46.7 per cent) of cases in Wiltshire had been identified as the Indian variant of coronavirus.

The number of cases remains low but public health director for Wiltshire Kate Blackburn said the virus spread because of international travel and wants to ensure it is now contained.

She said: "That’s why engaging with test and trace is so vital to take all the right precautions so that virus is contained and doesn’t go out to the wider community."

What is the coronavirus case rate in the south west?

  • Bath and North East Somerset: 14 per 100,000

  • Bristol: 13.6 per 100,000

  • Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly: 5.8 per 100,000

  • Devon: 7.9 per 100,000

  • Dorset: 6.9 per 100,000

  • North Somerset: 6 per 100,000

  • Somerset: 9.4 per 100,000

  • South Gloucestershire: 8.1 per 100,000

  • Wiltshire: 10.6 per 100,000

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