SUSPECTED cases of the Indian variant of Covid have been detected in Southend, public health bosses have revealed.

Public health chiefs have found two cases of the virus in the town, with both coming into contact with people who have recently come back from India.

The cases are yet to be confirmed as the new Indian variant, with confirmation expected on Friday.

However it's now only a "matter of time" before Southend sees an outbreak of the variant.

This comes as seven households in Chelmsford were found to have the Indiant variant of the virus.


Krishna Ramkhelawon, director of public health for Southend, is treating every case of Covid in Southend "as if it's the Indian variant."

Genome analysis is being undertaken on every positive Covid test in the town.

Mr Ramkhelawon, said: "Backward contact tracing is done straight away.

"We're expecting the results of the two cases back in three days.

"There's no concerns, they've both been contained.

"More than half of councils across the UK will have the new variant by the end of next week."