22 cases of Indian variant recorded in Suffolk - 14 of which are in Needham Market
More than twenty cases of the Indian variant of coronavirus have now been detected in Suffolk.
A total of 22 cases have now been recorded, 14 of which are in Needham Market.
A testing programme is currently underway in the town to help the county's health bosses to better understand if and how the variant is spreading.
Of the eight other new cases, two have been recorded in Ipswich and five in West Suffolk.
The location of one case is being investigated but it is understood that it may have been recorded as a Suffolk case in error.
Stuart Keeble, director of public health for Suffolk, said: “We should neither be surprised or unduly alarmed at the increase in figures.
“This is being seen at a national level and this variant is likely to become increasingly common as we move forward.
“It must be remembered that while the variant potentially spreads more quickly, and somewhat reduces the impact of the first dose, recent data shows vaccines are still highly effective at protecting against severe disease following a second dose.”
He added that contact tracing and targeted testing of close contacts is being undertaken to identify sources of infection and further cases.
Links between cases may also be used to put local outbreak control measures in place, like that being carried out in Needham Market until Saturday.
Mr Keeble urged residents to continue to wear masks, wash their hands, keep their distance from others, ensure good ventilation and get vaccinated as soon as possible.
They are also asked to get tested twice a week using lateral flow tests to help slow the spread.
Anyone experiencing symptoms should get a PCR test in the usual way at a local test centre or by using a home testing kit which can be ordered here.