Fears over new lockdown after hundreds test positive in Leicester

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Fears over new lockdown after hundreds test positive in Leicester

Nearly 900 people in Leicester tested positive for coronavirus over two-weeks – adding to fears the city could be the first to be placed into a local lockdown.

Leicester City Council has released the latest statistics from Public Health England some 11 days after Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there had been an outbreak of the virus in the city.

Up to June 23, 2,987 people in the city tested positive Covid-19, with 866 of them, 29 per cent, in the two weeks up to then.

The city council is due today (Monday) to have discussions with the Government amid reports that the city could be the first in the UK to be placed into some kind of local lockdown within days to stop the spread of the virus, reports LeicestershireLive.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is yet to confirm whether local lockdown is a realistic prospect in Leicester, despite Home Secretary Priti Patel appearing to do so in a TV interview yesterday.

LeicestershireLive has asked the Government a series of key questions about the issue but is yet to receive a reply.

Therefore, it remains unclear if a local lockdown will happen.

The Government has, however, agreed to provide more testing facilities in Leicester and the city council has been working with Public Health England to reinforce current guidelines around social distancing and hand hygiene and to introduce local messaging around limiting contact with others.

City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “More testing and immediate access to the data is key to determining what intervention is needed. Whether that intervention is giving more advice or something more dramatic we don’t yet know.

“If it is decided that a local lockdown is needed the city council currently has no powers to implement this, and there would need to be extensive discussion around the area to be locked down, including whether this extends beyond the city boundaries.”

The city mayor and the council’s director of public health Ivan Browne are due to meet with Government officials at 9am to discuss the latest data.

There are currently three mobile testing sites in the city, in Evington, Spinney Hill Park and Victoria Park. There is also a more permanent site on the edge of the city at Birstall park and ride.

Options for a fifth testing site are currently being explored.

People in the city are being advised to stay at home if they can, to maintain two metre social distancing, ensure good hand hygiene and to strictly limit their contact with others from outside their own household.

Anyone who thinks they have symptoms should stay at home along with the rest of their household until they have been tested.

Anyone who tests positive should stay at home for seven days, and members of their household should stay at home for 14 days.

 

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