Derbyshire residents urged to remain cautious after 4 new Covid-19 cases confirmed to be Indian variant

People living and working in Glossop and the Derbyshire Dales have been told to be cautious after four new cases of the Indian Covid variant were found.

Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 3:12 pm

A total of three new infections, from this strain of the virus which spreads more easily and is classed as a ‘variant of concern’, were detected in the Glossop area while a further case was found in the Derbyshire Dales.

It comes after Derbyshire was identified as a Covid hotspot with 173 Indian variant cases reported in East Midlands, with one infection of the Indian variant and another of the South African strain identified in Long Eaton in Erewash.

This takes the total number of cases involving ‘variants of concern’ in Derbyshire up to six.

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4 cases of Covid-19 that were confirmed to be the new Indian variant were found in Glossop and the Derbyshire Dales. Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images.

There was also previously a large virus outbreak at Wilsthorpe Academy in Long Eaton which resulted in more than 170 staff and pupils testing positive – although none of these cases have so far been found to be variants of concern.

Derbyshire’s Director of Public Health Dean Wallace has renewed his call for residents and workers in the Glossop area and Derbyshire Dales to get tested whether they have symptoms or not.

He has encouraged communities to continue to ‘adopt a sensible approach’ and follow hand-washing and social distancing guidelines, along with current coronavirus restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus.

The public health director advised residents to ‘think carefully’ about mixing indoors, as rules relaxed again yesterday (Monday, May 17) instead advocating that it is ‘far safer’ to meet up outside in the open and reduce the risk of transmission.

Mr Wallace said: “We understand that people will be concerned that 3 cases of the Indian variant have been confirmed in the Glossop area and one in the Derbyshire Dales, but I’d like to reassure everyone that we’re working closely with Public Health England to minimise the spread.

“There is currently no evidence that these variants cause more severe illness, are more deadly or make the current vaccines any less effective, but they do spread more easily – which is why we need everyone to be extra vigilant.

“I cannot stress enough the importance of getting a test if you have symptoms, including a wider range of symptoms which some people have been experiencing, as well as regular twice-weekly testing if you have no symptoms.

“We know 1 in 3 people who are carrying coronavirus don’t feel ill, so just because you feel okay doesn’t mean you haven’t got it – and you could be spreading it to your friends, family and work mates.

“It’s also vitally important that we continue to wear face masks where required unless you are exempt, to keep on washing your hands regularly and keep 2 metres away from anyone not in your household.

“I know people will be pleased to have regained more freedom following the relaxation of some rules this week, but I would ask everyone in Glossop area, Derbyshire Dales and throughout Derbyshire to take a sensible approach at this time and think carefully about the risks to their loved ones before making any decisions about mixing indoors.

“It’s true that opening windows and doors helps to disperse COVID particles in the air but it’s far safer to stay outside in the open air where the risk of catching the virus is much lower.”

While the main coronavirus symptoms are a high temperature, a new continuous cough and a loss of taste or smell, some people in the Long Eaton area who tested positive for the virus have reported tummy aches, sore throats, diarrhoea and feeling or being sick.

Others have complained of loss of appetite, headaches, joint pain, a runny nose, sneezing, feeling drowsy, tiredness, muscle aches and generally feeling unwell – which differ from the known virus symptoms.

People in the Derbyshire Dales and Glossop area are being advised to look out for these specific symptoms as an indicator they may have contracted Covid-19.

There is no need for residents to self-isolate unless they have a high temperature, a new continuous cough or loss or change to their sense of smell or taste.

But anyone who does have any of the additional symptoms is advised to get a PCR test – which are sent to a laboratory to be assessed – as a precaution.

These tests are by appointment only and can be booked online or by calling NHS 119.

Derbyshire’s top public health boss shared how despite the success of the vaccination programme, the most recent outbreak of Indian variant infections has reaffirmed how the pandemic is still not over.

Mr Wallace called for people to continue to take precautions seriously and follow public guidance to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.

He added: "We’ve come so far in our fight against this pandemic and the vaccine has been a real turning point, but this outbreak is a timely reminder that COVID hasn’t gone away and we still need to take precautions to protect those we love from this illness – especially those not yet vaccinated.

“Thanks to everyone continuing to follow the guidance and get tested regularly to help stop the spread.

"I’d urge everyone throughout Derbyshire to keep going and use your judgement to keep everyone safe.”

Anyone who has got a positive result from a lateral flow test should self-isolate immediately but may leave the house to take a confirmatory PCR test.

For more information about community testing or how to get a free PCR test click here.

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