On Friday, June 4, Faizan e Madina mosque on Gladstone Street in Peterborough is offering PCR tests to people with no Covid symptoms, in order to help identify variant cases of the virus early and reduce any spread.
All-women slots are also being offered for a limited time at the mosque.
Although the number of identified cases of a variant strain of Covid-19 are low in Peterborough, the city council wants to be proactive in its search for them so that transmission can be reduced.
Following the success of similar arrangements last week where non-symptomatic PCR testing was offered at Cathedral Square, St. Andrew's Church in Netherton and Hussaini Islamic Centre in Eastfield, this is being continued at Faizan e Madina mosque in Gladstone area on Friday.
No booking is required and people without symptoms can access the tests between 10am-3pm. The 10am-12pm slot is exclusively for women.
The testing is different to the rapid tests which people are being asked to complete twice a week as part of their normal life (though you can pick up rapid test kits at the same time), as PCR tests are processed at a laboratory where the virus can be examined to determine whether it is a new variant of Covid-19.
The testing on Friday is for people without symptoms of Covid-19. Those with symptoms should book a test using the government booking site.
This proactive testing as a precaution will help the city council to understand how common new variant strains of the virus might be in the city and to avoid the transmission levels being seen in other parts of the country.
It is important that people continue to remember hands, face, space and fresh air and to take their two rapid test each week and accept their vaccine when they are offered one – both doses are important.
Last week, Husaini Islamic Centre announced it will be hosting a temporary Covid testing site to reassure members of the community.
Testing began on Friday, May 28, following the hard work of President of the Husaini Islamic Centre Rizwan Rahemtulla, Chair of the Peterborough Joint Mosques Council Abdul Choudhuri, and many other members of the community.
This comes as a 'few' cases of the new Covid-19 variant have been found in Peterborough, although Emmeline Watkins, acting director of public health for Peterborough, said it suggests Peterborough "doesn’t currently have the wide-spread transmission of this variant that is being seen in neighbouring areas such as Bedford and Leicester".
The site will host a vehicle which can administer PCR testing on-site, and also give out home testing kits to be taken away.
The next session will be held on Friday (June 4), from 10am to 5pm, but it is hoped this can continue afterwards in subsequent weeks.