Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 14th July 2021.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to control the transmission of the South African variant of covid-19 in the UK.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Beta variant accounts for a relatively small amount of COVID-19 cases and is on the list of current variants of concern (VOC) monitored by Public Health England and forms part of the wider approach to dealing with VOCs. This includes the continuous tracking and identification of new strains and assessing their impact on the United Kingdom population.

In response to VOCs, including the Beta variant, support measures have been made available to local authorities, including surge testing, enhanced contact tracing, faster standard tracing for all cases in the area as well as direct reporting into a national incident management structure to ensure a consistent and timely response.

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