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    Salford Council have reported what it says to be an isolated case of the new strain of the 'Kent' coronavirus which has been circulating in parts of Manchester for some time.

    The incident happened earlier in the year after a person reportedly became unwell and later tested positive for the virus, upon testing it was determined that the person had been infected with the new 'Kent' strain.

    The person had already self isolated and local test and tracing were able to identify those people that they had come into contacted with.

    Director of public health Dr Muna Abdel Aziz said the the incident had happened 'earlier in the year' and was reported within the national system.

    She said:



    "Test and trace established that they had been in contact with a previously identified cluster all of whom had been traced and tested.

    "Those who had tested positive in that cluster self-isolated and there was no evidence of further transmission.

    "When we were notified of the variant case the cluster had already been dealt with.

    "We reviewed the case and were satisfied that robust action had already been taken and no further action was required as the virus had been contained."



    Councillor Gina Reynolds who holds the position of Lead Member for Adult Services and Wellbeing, confirmed the case and said that all the steps were taken to ensure that it was dealt with swiftly and monitoring continues, She said:



    "We are monitoring the situation very closely, and we urge everyone to get tested if they become unwell because this will help to isolate the virus and bring down the infection rates.

    “The rates are not reducing fast enough in Salford, and we are asking members of the public to follow the rules even more strictly right now – stay at home, wear a face covering over nose and mouth where required, maintain social distance and good hand hygiene.

    "By stopping the spread, we can support safe reopening of schools and workplaces and we can avoid further local restrictions.”


    Dr Aziz, said that work will be stepped up to encourage testing infection rates within the city are not falling fast enough which is causing some concerns as some areas have higher rates than others.

    The new B.1.1.7 Kent strain is said to be more easily spread but scientists are confident that the current Astrazeneca and Pfizer vaccines being used in the UK are able to provide an adequate defence against it.


    Andrew Pollard, Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity, and Chief Investigator on the Oxford vaccine trial, said:


    "All viruses accumulate mutations over time, and for influenza vaccines there is a well-known process of global viral surveillance, and selection of strains for an annual update of the vaccines."


    Testing centres are now located across Salford, more details can be found on the following link: www.salford.gov.uk/people-communities-and-local-information/coronavirus/how-to-get-tested/



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