New Indian Variant in England Calls for Surge-testing


  • Bedford, which has the second highest Covid-19 rate in England, has just brought in surge-testing because of the new Indian variant.
  • The BBC spoke to those passing one of the town’s vaccination centres to hear what they made of the spike in cases and the progress on the vaccination programme.
  • Bedford, which has a population of about 173.000, has seen the case rate per 100,000 population rise from 56.6 to 122.3 in the past week.

A recent news article published in the BBC by Alex Pope and Laurence Cawley reveals about the surge in Covid 19 cases in Bedford.

Stop being selfish

Driving instructor Susanna Swift, 53, who lives in Bedford, got her second vaccine shot on Tuesday.

She says the rising cases in the town make vaccinations more urgent.

“I’m not happy with the way cases are going up,” she says.

She opines that people should be a bit more sensible and actually stop being selfish and go and get the injection done because it is good for our community at the end of the day and we are all here to look after one another.

I feel really good that I have had the second injection.

As she had taken the second injection, she feels that she is doing something good for my community in protecting others, especially the older people.

The government is urging people to take up the vaccine offer, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock saying 86 council districts have recording at least five cases of the Indian Covid variant, which is thought to be more transmissible.

About 78,906 people aged 40 and above (about 82%) in Bedford borough have had their first dose of the vaccine.

About 39,000 of the borough’s over-40s have had their second shot, which amounts to about 41%.

The only way I could see my mum

Richard Daniel, 51, has just had his second vaccine. He has not seen his mother for nearly two years.

“It was the only way I could see my mum who is in her late 70s, so it would not have been fair with me not being treated,” he says.

he is still wearing a mask everywhere because he thinks that one has to take precautions.

“Since the vaccine has come out I’ve noticed a lot of people not wearing a mask. But you can only do what you can do.”

I think we just have to keep going with it

Elizabeth Galpin, 52, has also been visiting the Guru Nanak Gurdwara Temple for her second vaccine shot.

“I’m not too worried to be honest – everybody is getting their vaccinations,” she says. “I think we just have to keep going with it and be sensible.”

There will be pockets [of heightened infection rates] around Britain; it is just the way it works and it is going to continue.

I don’t believe all this corona thing

Linda and her partner Oskar did not want to give their full names.

The couple, originally from Latvia, are aware of the latest coronavirus statistics in Bedford. Yet both say they do not want to be vaccinated.

“Maybe if I see in the future that people who are vaccinated cannot catch the coronavirus, then yes.” says Linda.

“But for the moment, no. I don’t trust this vaccination.”

The rise in cases and the emergence of the Indian variant, she says, does not change her view on whether or not to have the vaccine.

Her partner Oskar’s scepticism does not stop at the vaccine.

“I don’t believe all this corona thing and I don’t want to be vaccinated at all,” he says.

He adds that, we need to look at and observe the vaccine which was only introduced a few months ago.  We are just like experimental bodies.


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Source: BBC



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