THE COUNCILLOR who represents the Frankley Great Park ward where the South African Covid variant was found last week has urged anyone over 18 in the area who has not yet been tested to go and get a test.
Coun Simon Morrall said it was people’s ‘patriotic duty’ to take a Covid test as soon as possible.
“During my election I said I wanted to put Frankley on the map.
“I certainly didn’t expect to be doing it like this.
“Last Wednesday it was announced that the South African Variant of Covid-19 had been found in our ward and urgent action was required to trace it’s origin, under the umbrella of ‘Operation Eagle’.”
He praised the public’s response so far but added more needed to be done.
“We’ve set a real example for the rest of region to follow.
“In the first 24 hours our community stepped up to the task with demand so high that the Longbridge testing site had to close an hour early due to running out of test kits.
“I think this is testament to just how brilliant people in this part of Birmingham are and I cannot tell you how incredibly proud I am of everyone.
“However, we must not get complacent and we need to keep the momentum going, as everyone has a responsibility to get tested as soon as possible.”
Door-to-door testing began yesterday for the B45 postcode and home testing kits can be picked up from the Hollymoor Community Centre between 8am and 6pm – and be returned from 8am to 5pm.
On Saturday a drive through / walk-in site was set up at the Empire Cinema at the Great Park which opens from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday and between 10am and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Coun Morrall said: “The feedback from residents has been really positive and everyone has said the process has been incredibly efficient with the staff being really helpful. ”
And there is the Longbridge testing site (opposite Bournville College) which is also available from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday and between 10am and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Coun Morrall added: “Last week we heard the sad news that Captain Sir Tom Moore had passed away from Covid-19.
“I was absolutely gutted about this and like many of you, I hate to read about so much loss of life due to this virus!
“In an age where some (sadly) question what ‘patriotism’ is, I feel Captain Sir Tom encapsulated it beautifully.
“Because it doesn’t matter what your background was – seeing a 100 year old war veteran raise millions for the NHS by completing 100 laps, on a zimmer frame, around his garden – made us all feel incredibly patriotic and proud of this country last year!
“So I ask everyone in Frankley, Hollymoor, Great Park and Northfield to play your patriotic role this week! Please don’t delay, walk or drive to a local testing site ASAP to get yourself a test.”
He also urged people to stick to the Government guidelines – Hands, Face, Space – and check up on neighbours and loved ones.
And he added he was convinced ‘we will beat this virus’ and look forward to a summer where England’s footballers brought home the UEFA European Championship.
To view the full briefing about the South African strain, click the YouTube link below.