CASES of the potentially dangerous new Indian variant of coronavirus has been identified in Bolton.

The Bolton News understands that three people have contracted the virus ­— and cases have also been identified in Manchester.

It comes just weeks after Bolton's public health bosses carried out surge testing after the South African' mutation of the virus was found to have spread to the borough.

A spokesperson for the council’s Public Health team said: “We have been notified of a small number of cases of the Indian Variant in Bolton.

“As with all variants of Covid the advice remains to wash your hands, cover your face when required, keep space between yourself and others you don’t live with or are in a social bubble with; to stay at home for the full 10 days if you have symptoms and to get tested, and to have the vaccine if you are invited.

"We want to reassure the public that if we all follow the rules then the risk of any onward spread is low.

“If you cannot work from home it’s important that you get tested at one of our testing centres for those without symptoms or using test kits available at local pharmacies and collection sites. One in three people have the virus but don’t develop symptoms, and can be spreading it to others.

“Covid-19 has not gone away and we need you to continue to follow the rules.”

There are concerns that this mutation might be even more transmissable.

India will tomorrow be added to a 'red list' of countries from which most travel to the UK is banned, over fears of the new covid variant.

Matt Hancock said there had been 103 UK cases of the India variant.

The B.1.617 variant, which was first discovered in India

And the UK should be “terribly concerned” about the impact the Indian mutation of coronavirus could have if it takes hold in the country, an expert has warned.

Professor Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology, said the variant holds properties that make it more evasive to the vaccines currently on offer, like the South African variant, and more transmissible.

He said: “I think we should be terribly concerned about it. They (variants of concern) are things that can most scupper our escape plan at the moment and give us a third wave."