Targeted surge testing has launched in the SE16 area of Southwark where another case of the Covid-19 variant first identified in South Africa has been found.  

The Government said the case is linked to the “significant” cluster found in Lambeth and Wandsworth.  

The confirmed case is self-isolating and their contacts have been identified.

The “largest surge testing operation to date” was announced this week after 44 confirmed and 30 probable cases of the variant first were found in both boroughs.   

The Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the surge testing is aimed at suppressing any possible new cases of the variant, with positive results from PCR testing to be sent for genomic sequencing at specialist labs.  

It said all those in Lambeth and Wandsworth who have tested positive for the variant, with the first case in the area being found in early March, are isolating or have completed their isolation, and their contacts have been traced and asked to isolate.  

Lambeth Council leader, Cllr Jack Hopkins, wrote to residents on Tuesday (April 13) to urge all residents over 11 years of age to take a PCR Covid-19 test in the next week.   

Dr Kevin Fenton, Regional Director, PHE London and Regional Director of Public Health, NHS London: “The cluster of cases in parts of South London – predominantly the Lambeth and Wandsworth areas but also in Southwark – of the variant first identified in South Africa is significant.  

“It’s really important people in the local area play their part in stopping any further spread within the local community. 

“PCR testing is now available for all and I would strongly encourage everyone in Southwark who is invited to take part to get tested, even if they don’t have any symptoms of coronavirus

“Around one in 3 people with COVID-19 don’t show any symptoms.  

“By taking part you can protect yourselves and your loved ones and help us identify any possible new cases that would otherwise be missed, preventing further transmission and saving lives.”