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90% increase in Covid cases in West Berkshire

A 90% increase in Covid cases in the last week in West Berkshire has prompted the Council to issue a reminder about the importance of hands, face and space.

The importance of continuing to wash hands, cover your face and make space to control infection rates and help to control the spread of the virus, follows the discovery of a new variant of the disease which may be associated with the faster spread in the South East of England according to Health Secretary, Matt Hancock.

He went on to say in Parliament this afternoon: "We have currently identified over 1,000 cases with this variant, predominantly in the South of England although cases have been identified in nearly 60 different local authority areas and numbers are increasing rapidly."

The Secretary of State's announcement of a new variant led in to news that London, Kent, parts of Essex and Hertfordshire will move into Tier 3 from Wednesday, which is the Very High alert level.

These restrictions, alongside all other areas in England, will continue to be formally reviewed as planned on Wednesday 16 December.

Meanwhile Newbury's MP, Laura Farris, called the new variant of the disease "concerning."

She said: "Many of you have pointed out that the rate of infection has been rising in West Berkshire. Today the Secretary of State confirmed that more than 1,000 cases of a new variant of Coronavirus have emerged - primarily in the South East. The World Health Organisation has been notified and it is obviously concerning that it has mutated.

"The Department of Health still believes this mutation will respond to a vaccine and analysis is ongoing at Porton Down."

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