UK Covid live: officials consider ‘surge vaccinations’ to combat spread of Indian variant

Latest updates: concern that spread of variant found in India, B1.617.2, may derail planned easing of lockdown restrictions in England

12.13pm BST

GP patients must now be offered face-to-face appointments if they so wish, new NHS England guidance reported by health publication Pulse states.

The Patients Association welcomed the new requirements, saying most patients prefer to see their doctor in person, but stressed how difficult people have been finding accessing GP services.

We called for the restoration of in-person appointments as the default option when we published our second Pandemic Patient Experience report, which showed starkly how patients have been struggling to access primary care in a way that meets their needs.

It will be a great relief to many patients to know that their GP should now unquestionably be offering face to face appointments.

11.55am BST

The Indian coronavirus variant has been detected in a number of areas in England which are reporting the highest rates of infection, data suggests.

PA has the story:

Data from Public Health England (PHE) shows a rise in cases of the Indian variant of concern from 520 to 1,313 this week in the UK, with the agency saying infections were “rising in the community” and it was assessing the impact and severity.

Although the Indian variant is thought to be highly transmissible, vaccines are expected to be effective against it.

Continue reading… Source: The Guardian: UK Covid live: officials consider ‘surge vaccinations’ to combat spread of Indian variant ———

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