South Yorkshire public health bosses “well prepared” as Indian variant detected in Wakefield

Barnsley’s director of public health says that the borough is “well prepared to deal with any variants of concern”, after it was confirmed that the Indian variant of Covid-19 has been detected in neighbouring Wakefield.

The Wakefield Express reported that “fewer than five cases” had been recorded in Wakefield in the last few days.

Wakefield Council told the Express that all of the cases reported in Wakefield were linked to travel and that those who had tested positive were following self-isolation rules.

When asked if the virus has been detected here in Barnsley, the council confirmed that as per Public health England Guidelines, it does not reveal small numbers of cases, in case it identifies individuals.

The Indian variant is in the UK.

However, Julia Burrows, Barnsley’s director of public health said: “We are well prepared to deal with any variants of concern found in Barnsley.

“If there are any variants of concern and/or variants under investigation here, they will have contact tracing carried out, and as with anyone testing positive for COVID-19, need to self-isolate.

“Our public health advice remains the same, whatever variant of COVID-19.

“Continue with the basics of hands, face, space and fresh air – especially with regards to meeting people outside rather than inside, to help to protect against all COVID-19 variants.

“Get your vaccination when invited and if you have any symptoms, no matter how mild, get a PCR test and isolate.”