Most cases have so far been detected in the North West of England, with Bolton, Blackburn and Sefton in Merseyside affected. Instances have also been recorded in London.
Colonel Russ Miller, Army commander of the North West, will lead responses in the region with surge testing in the streets.
Mr Johnson said: “Colonel Russ Miller, commander of the North-West region, will be deployed to support local leaders in managing the response on the ground.
Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England, said: “There is now confidence … that this variant is more transmissible than B.1.1.7.
Mr Johnson has also urged the people of Bolton and Blackburn to “play their part in stopping the spread of the new variant” by ensuring they are vaccinated and undergoing rapid tests twice a week.
He added: “Our best chance of suppressing this variant is to clamp down on it, wherever it is and we’ll be throwing everything we can [at it].”
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: UK Feed