CASES of the Indian coronavirus variant have been confirmed in Warrington.

Warrington Borough Council says that two cases of the strain have been detected in the town through testing.

It is now working to identify people who have been in close contact with those who have tested positive for the virus variant.

Earlier this week, Warrington’s director of public health Thara Raj explained that the Indian variant is thought to be more transmissible than other strains of coronavirus.

But she added there is currently no evidence to suggest it affects people more seriously or is resistant to the vaccines currently being rolled out across the UK.

In confirming the presence of the strain in Warrington this afternoon, Friday, she said: “We have had two confirmed cases of the variant of concern B.1.617.2, which was first identified in India, in Warrington.

“We are working closely with Public Health England and the NHS to follow up these cases and identify contacts.

“We currently have a low coronavirus case rate in Warrington, with only 11 positive cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day week, but we are monitoring the situation closely.

Warrington Guardian: Thara Raj, Warrington's director of public healthThara Raj, Warrington's director of public health

“We need everyone to stay vigilant and follow the rules as this is the best way to stop the spread of the virus.

“Maintain social distancing, wear a face covering, wash your hands often, stay in well ventilated areas, get tested regularly and get the vaccine when you are offered it.

“Even though it is now possible to meet people indoors, indoor household mixing is still high risk, so it is important to keep this to a minimum.

“Everyone over the age of 11 is able to have a lateral flow test, and I would advise people to test themselves regularly and self-isolate immediately if you have any Covid symptoms.

“We are coming up to the school holidays, and while I understand how tempting it is to go away to one of the green listed countries, any travel introduces further risks.

“So, my advice is to think twice at this time before you travel outside of the UK.”

The presence of the Indian variant has also been confirmed in neighbouring St Helens and Wigan, although the most significant spread of the variant in the north west has been in Bolton, Blackburn and Sefton.

More information about symptom-free testing and local contact tracing can be found at