NHS Grampian reassures North-east residents over new Covid-19 variant

Following confirmation that three cases of a Covid-19 Variant of Concern originating in Brazil have been identified locally, NHS Grampian is moving to reassure people in the region.

Sunday, 28th February 2021, 5:49 pm
NHS Grampian stresses the vast majority of people in the North-east will not be directly affected by these Covid-19 cases.

Health protection specialists have assessed the cases and, as part of the Test & Protect strategy, their close contacts have been followed up and are being offered Covid-19 testing as usual.

As an additional safety measure, the Health Protection team is also working to identify those with whom the close contacts may have been in contact. These people are best described as the contacts of contacts. All will be offered a Covid-19 test. This is not standard procedure but is being undertaken in this exceptional circumstance to be absolutely sure all possible precautions are being taken.

The health boards says the majority of people in Grampian should be reassured that they will not be directly affected by these cases. However, it must be remembered that Covid-19, no matter which variant it is, spreads in the same way. Everyone must continue to observe the current restrictions and follow the FACTS guidance to reduce their risk of being infected with any strain of Covid-19.

Anyone who experiences the three key symptoms of Covid-19 – a fever, new persistent cough, or a change/loss in sense of taste or smell – should isolate at home and arrange a test.

For people who are not experiencing symptoms, community asymptomatic testing is currently being piloted across Grampian.

The three cases of the variant from Brazil were confirmed yesterday (Saturday, February 27), and were found as part of routine testing.

The three cases returned from Brazil at the same time and isolated together on their return to the Grampian region. The cases isolated together at managed accommodation

Currently there is no evidence of community transmission of this variant in Scotland but all variants continue to be monitored.

This variant has been designated ‘of concern’ as it shares some important mutations with the variant first identified in South Africa. There is some data to suggest that this variant may be more likely to cause Covid-19 infections in people who have been vaccinated or who had been infected with one of the earlier strains of ‘wild-type’ Covid-19.