Lighthouse Lab scientists have revealed the speed and scale at which the new variant of Covid is spreading through communities across Bracknell Forest.

This video has been produced by the team at Alderley Park Lighthouse Lab – one of the Government's national coronavirus testing sites, which processes more than 50,000 samples a day.

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The other Lighthouse Lab sites include Bracknell's Brants Bridge.

Bracknell News:

Its scientists have identified the new Covid variant in the PCR test – which is used by the NHS – and have been able to track its spread across England and Wales.

Dr Mark Wigglesworth, Site Director at the Alderley Park Lighthouse Lab and senior author of the report, comments: “Although the speed of the spread is shocking, we’re working really closely with the government to share our scientific discoveries and advancements, which in-turn informs decision making across the devolved nations, so that we can be in the best position to beat the virus.

“While a new national lockdown is not what anyone would have wanted, our scientists’ work in discovering the spread of the new variant will be pivotal in informing government policy, protecting the NHS and saving lives.”

ALSO READ: 7 coronavirus deaths in Bracknell Forest recorded yesterday

The Government pointed towards the new Covid strain as the reason for the current lockdown when it was called on January 4.

The data released today, January 18, shows the spread of the new Covid variant between December 1 and 21, 2020.

It shows rapidly increasing numbers of cases of the new variant across London and the south east, as well as parts of the north west, south west and west midlands.

Areas with the highest cases of the new variant in the study correlate with areas now reporting higher pressure on their local NHS hospitals.