|Covid-19 South African Variant Found in Roehampton|
Residents urged to get tested after 'small number' of cases in the area
People living in parts of Roehampton are being encouraged to get a coronavirus test after “a small number of cases” of the South African variant were found there that cannot be traced back to international travel.
Wandsworth Council said all the cases are now self-isolating and robust tracing has taken place to track their contacts and ask them to self-isolate.
Those living in the affected areas in parts of Roehampton and Putney Heath ward as well as St Mary's Park ward in Battersea will receive a letter through their door explaining the situation.
The council is encouraging every person living in these areas over the age of 16 to take a PCR test this week, even if they are not showing symptoms.
People living in the areas are advised to continue following the national guidance on current lockdown restrictions and adhere to social distancing, using the hands-face-space rules, if they do need to leave the house to work, volunteer, buy essential items, or to get a test.
Leader of Wandsworth Council, Ravi Govindia, said, “I know people may find this news concerning, but I would like to reassure residents in these two areas that variants are common and have been found across London and the UK. Wandsworth is at no more risk than anywhere else.
“Because Covid-19 rates in the borough are now much lower, our testing and track and trace systems can focus on spotting any variants and ensuring quick action is taken. There is also no evidence to suggest the vaccine will not work on this variant.
“However, it is possible they could be more transmissible, which means it could spread more quickly. That is why we are carrying out this additional testing.”
Professor Kevin Fenton, London Regional Director at Public Health England, added: “The UK has one of the best genomic surveillance systems in the world which has allowed us to detect the variant originating in South Africa here in parts of Wandsworth. I urge everyone offered a test to take it up to help us to monitor the virus in our communities and to help suppress and control the spread of this variant.
“The most important thing is that people continue to follow the guidance that is in place – limit your number of contacts, wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, keep your distance and cover your face. If you test positive by any method, you must isolate to stop the spread of the virus.”
How to get a test if you live in the affected area and do not have Coronavirus symptoms
You can go to the mobile testing unit in Danebury Avenue car park, Danebury Avenue, Roehampton.
You will need to book an appointment at www.wandsworth.gov.uk/surge-testing.
You can book online on someone else's behalf if they can't do so themselves. People who are unable to book online, and don't know someone who can book for them, can call 020 8871 6555 from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm for help.
You can also pick up and drop off home testing (PCR) kits at Focus Hall, Minstead Gardens, SW15 4ER in Roehampton between 8am and 4pm Monday to Friday and at the Battersea Sports Centre in Hope Street, SW11 2DA between 7.30am and 4pm Monday to Friday. Both sites will be open on Saturdays and Sundays between 10am and 2pm.
No appointment is necessary to collect the home test kits and residents can turn up at either collection point. But please only do this if you have no symptoms of Covid-19.
If you have symptoms you can get tested at one of several symptomatic local test sites across Wandsworth. You must book an appointment at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call 119.
March 11, 2021