Nine areas across south Essex are now showing as recording new Covid cases over a seven-day period.

It comes as health bosses believe two cases of the fast-spreading Indian variant of the virus have been found in Southend.

Both patients are thought to have come into contact with people who have recently returned from India.

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

In Southend there have been 26 new cases of Covid in the seven days to May 13 - it gives the area an infection rate of 14.2 cases per 100,000. 

Read more >>> Freedom on June 21 'wouldn't be wise' as fears grow over Indian Covid variant

Across Essex, which includes Basildon, there have been 165 cases in the same time period. 

Nine areas now shows on the government dashboard map in today's update.

  • Laindon West & Southfields - 6
  • Aveley - 5
  • Eastwood - 4
  • Thorpe Bay - 4
  • Southchurch - 3
  • Kursaal - 3
  • Laindon Central - 3
  • Tilbury - 3
  • South Ockendon - 3

Brentwood Live:

The map only shows clusters when there are at least three confirmed results, with anywhere between zero and two cases showing white in order to "protect the privacy of individuals and prevent disclosure."

The map shows positive cases by 'Middle Super Output Area' - the name the government gives to the break-up of larger towns and groups of neighbouring towns and villages, with groupings covering a greater area than others.