Surge testing finds no Norfolk cases of South African Covid variant

Surge testing takes place at Diss Leisure Centre

Surge testing takes place at Diss Leisure Centre - Credit: Danielle Booden

Surge testing of more than 6,000 people in part of Norfolk has not identified any cases of the South African variant of Covid, public health bosses have confirmed.

The mass testing was launched in Diss and Roydon in the middle of February, amid concern over the spread of the South African variant of coronavirus.

There had been between five to 10 cases of Covid-19 in Norfolk which had been identified as being the South African variant - connected to travel.

While the council said those cases had been quickly identified and contained, Diss and Roydon was one of a number of areas across the country selected for surge testing.

Letters were sent to 10,000 people and more than 6,000 people took part in the testing.

Dr Louise Smith, director of public health for Norfolk. Picture: Norfolk County Council

Dr Louise Smith, director of public health for Norfolk. Picture: Norfolk County Council - Credit: Norfolk County Council

And Dr Louise Smith, Norfolk's director of public health, confirmed analysis had yet to find further South African cases in Norfolk.

She said: "We are very pleased that, to date, the surge testing in Diss and Roydon has not identified any of the South African variant.

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"In some of the other areas across the country, we understand a very small number of cases were identified.

"But the biggest finding from all of this surge testing was that Public Health England did not find widespread cases of the South African variant.

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"We remain very grateful, both to partners who did the surge testing and, of course, everyone in the area who took a test."

Dr Smith also reiterated her plea for people who are out and about - for work or to visit loved ones in care homes - to take part in twice weekly testing.

She said: "We have an offer for anyone who is out and about to come to a testing station and be tested, while businesses can register with us and set up regular testing of their employees.

"We would strongly encourage everybody who is out and about to be tested twice a week."

Community testing can be arranged by visiting where locations and dates of testing sites are available.

Workplace testing details are at

People with symptoms should book a home test via

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