Indian variant of coronavirus emerges in Nottinghamshire
The Indian variant of coronavirus has reached Nottinghamshire and is being carefully monitored.
Yesterday, on the day the government announced the deaths of four people with the variant, the first domestically, the director of Public Health for Nottinghamshire Jonathan Gribbin said the county was moving into step three of the government's roadmap for easing of lockdown on Monday in fairly positive fashion.
He hinted a note of caution.
"But of course I'm very mindful, and in fact we should all be very mindful, that across Nottinghamshire county we are seeing some cases of the Indian variant," he said.
"Currently those cases are very few and have been relatively isolated, but it is a cause for some concern, which is amplified in my mind when we look a bit further afield to what we see happening elsewhere in the country.
"So in Nottinghamshire county we are continuing with daily surveillance and keeping a very close eye a long with Public Health England, in particular around cases that look like they are probably Indian variants.
"We are also making arrangements to strengthen what we do around contact tracing and just tidying up some of the arrangements around how we might take testing of contacts of cases with the Indian variant.
"And of course we stand ready to deploy targeted testing, or if it were required, surge testing on a wider scale, should the need arise, but just to underline that's not the case in Nottinghamshire county at the moment."