RESIDENTS in the Swansea and Neath Port Talbot area are being urged to continue social distancing and remain vigilant after cases of the Indian Variant have been confirmed in the area.

Swansea Bay NHS are urging those who are eligible to book in for their Covid-19 vaccinations as soon as possible saying “coronavirus has not gone away”.

The indian variant has been causing concern throughout the country, with fears that it has a higher infection rate.

Swansea Bay University Health Board Director of Public Health, Dr Keith Reid said: Covid hasn’t gone away and now that people are socialising indoors in pubs and restaurants, and other indoor activities have restarted, it is very likely that we will see infection rates creeping up again. Covid thrives on close contact, particularly among those who haven’t been vaccinated.

Dr Keith Reid, Director of Public Health urging residents to take precautions as Indian Variant confirmed in Swansea Bay

“We now have a small number of confirmed cases of B.1.617.2 (the variant of concern that was first detected in India) in the Swansea Bay region, which is a worry as it looks like this variant spreads more easily.

“Our testing and tracing teams are working hard to prevent it being spread further, but people should be aware that we’re not out of the woods yet, and continue to take all precautions.”

Dr Reid advised people to carry on handwashing, to keep a safe distance from people they don’t live with, and wear face-coverings in indoor public places. They should also get tested if they have any classic Covid-19 symptoms: high temperature, new continuous cough or loss of taste/smell, or if they have flu-like symptoms or feel unwell with other symptoms which are unusual for them.

“It is also much safer to be outdoors in the fresh air than inside a building where Covid viruses can circulate more easily,” he added.