‘Surge’ testing for South African Variant ends in North Kensington

Tuesday 25 May 2021

Enhanced ‘surge’ testing for the South African variant of Covid-19 has come to an end in parts of W11.

Kensington and Chelsea Council, together with Public Health England and the NHS, introduced the tests in the area around Portobello Road from 10 to 21 May after a small number of cases of the variant of Coronavirus first discovered in South Africa were identified in the area.

Residents, people who work in the area and visitors were asked to get a PCR test and there was an excellent take up, with more than 2,000 people being tested and at least 76 per cent of these being residents of the area.

A quarter of the tests have already returned negative results for the South African variant, with the remaining test results expected to be returned within the next week.

Cllr Cem Kemahli said:

“I’d like to thank everyone who played their part in limiting the spread of coronavirus by taking part in the enhanced testing for the variant first detected in South Africa. It’s vital that we keep on top of Coronavirus and this testing can help identify if a variant of concern is getting into the general population. 

“I also want to encourage everyone who is entitled to get a vaccine to get vaccinated as soon as possible and help protect yourself, your family and friends.”