No known cases of Bristol variant in Gloucestershire, says public health chief

There are no known cases of the Bristol variant in Gloucestershire at the moment, the county’s public health chief has said.

Sarah Scott confirmed her team are not aware of any cases of the new Covid mutation found in Bristol last week, but she added they are “keeping a careful eye on the situation”.

Experts said on Wednesday (February 9) that the coronavirus mutation first identified in Bristol is now classified as a “variant of concern”.

The New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) announced its ruling on Bristol’s mutation – the Kent variant with the E484K mutation.

The E484K mutation is also present in the South Africa variant, which is the variant that prompted door-to-door testing in certain parts of the country.

Sarah Scott, director of public health at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “We are not aware of any cases of this new variant in Gloucestershire but, along with our partners in the South West, we are keeping a careful eye on the situation.

“This is an important reminder that Covid-19 has not gone away, and while the roll out of the vaccination offers some reassurance, we must continue to follow the rules, protect our NHS and save lives.”

The latest government figures, correct as of Monday (February 8), show that 21 cases of the variant have now been identified – up from the original number of 11.

Of those, 15 were categorised as being found in “Bristol and the South West”.

Gazette Series Gloucestershire