The possible spread of the highly transmissible variant B.1.617.2 of Covid, first identified in India, threatens to hamper the timeline to remove lockdown restrictions as a series of localized outbreaks have been detected.
Here are some possible actions that could be used to limit the spread of the variant:
This is the strategy by which small areas are targeted for mass testing on as many people as possible, including those who have no symptoms or who suggest they have been in contact with a Covid carrier.
It has been used previously to try to detect the spread of another rapidly spreading variant of Covid, first detected in South Africa. Last month it was launched in several London boroughs, involving the use of door-to-door testing and an improved contact tracing system for people with HIV.
Surge testing, with associated genome sequencing to identify the spread of variants, has become the default response to these variants and is now taking place in 15 locations across England, the Department of Health and Welfare said. .
It is used in the areas affected by the India variant. The army contributes to these efforts, for example by distributing self-testing kits to residents.