Six linked cases of Indian variant of coronavirus found in Kirkcaldy

Six cases of the Indian variant of coronavirus have been confirmed in a cluster in Kirkcaldy.

NHS Fife says the cases - which are believed to be linked  - have been identified in the Valley and Templehall areas of the town.

Genomic testing has confirmed that these cases are the B.1.617 variant first identified in India. But the health board says there is no evidence of widespread transmission of the B.1.617 variant within the community at this stage.

It is now calling on people in the area to get asymptomatic tests - with a mobile testing unit being made available to people in the area.

The unit is based at the YMCA on Hendry Crescent from 10am-4pm every day, on a drop-in basis, and is for people with or without symptoms.

Tests can also be booked for a facility on Overton Road.

Dona Milne, NHS Fife director of public health, said: "We have seen a marked reduction in the levels of Covid-19 in Fife over recent months, however, these new cases are a timely reminder of the importance of Covid-19 testing in preventing the spread of the virus.

"The B.1.617 variant is known to be more transmissible and it’s important we take all reasonable steps to limit the opportunity for further spread of the virus.

"Our ask to local people is to be vigilant. It remains vital that anyone with the established symptoms of Covid-19, such as a high temperature; a loss or change in the sense of taste or smell; or a new, continuous cough, regardless how mild these appear to be, isolates immediately and arranges to get tested as soon as possible.

"Covid-19 vaccination remains the best available defence against the virus and we urge people across the Kingdom to ensure they attend for vaccination when called to do so."

In parliament earlier, the first minister said that they do not fully understand the impact of the Indian variant yet on vaccines - but there is no evidence to suggest it is causing more severe illness.

However, it is thought the variant could be "significantly more transmissible" than the Kent variant, which was identified before Christmas.

NHS Fife has an online support hub with information on testing and Covid-19 updates at

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