On 29 June The Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP delivered an oral statement to parliament about the local measures to deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Leicester.
He explained that Covid-19 is now in decline at a national level. The number of positive new cases is now below 1,000 a day and the number of recorded deaths on 28 June was 25. Also there were no covid-19 related deaths in Scotland for the fourth consecutive day.
On 28 June the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care chaired an emergency Local Action Committee Gold meeting specifically to deal with the outbreak in Leicester.
Unfortunately, while cases in most parts of the country have fallen since the peak, in Leicester they have continued to rise. The 7-day infection rate in Leicester is 135 cases per 100,000 people, which is 3 times higher than the next highest city. Leicester accounts for around 10% of all positive cases in the country over the past week.And admissions to hospital are between 6 and 10 per day rather than around 1 a day at other trusts.
In addition to the mobile testing units previously reported, there are further measures to tackle the outbreak in Leicester. These being:
- Further testing capability, including opening a walk-in centre. Anyone in Leicester with symptoms must come forward for a test.
- The government will give extra funding to Leicester and Leicestershire councils to support them to enhance their communications and ensure those communications are translated into all locally relevant languages.
- Through the councils, they will ensure support is available for those who have to self-isolate.
- They will work with the workplaces that have seen clusters of cases to implement more stringently the COVID-secure workplaces.
Easing of lockdown:
- Given the growing outbreak in Leicester, they cannot recommend that the easing of the national lockdown, set to take place on the 4 July, happens in Leicester.
- From 30 June non-essential retail will have to close.
- Schools will also need to close from Thursday, staying open for vulnerable children and children of critical workers only
- Relaxation of shielding measures due on the 6 July cannot now take place in Leicester.
- People in Leicester, are recommended to stay at home as much as you can and we recommend against all but essential travel to, from and within Leicester.
- They will monitor closely adherence to social distancing rules and will take further steps if that is what’s necessary.
- The more people following the rules, the faster the virus will be controlled and enable Leicester to get back to normal.
- They will review whether they can release any measures in 2 weeks’ time.
- These Leicester-specific measures will apply not just to the city of Leicester, but also to the surrounding conurbation, including for example, Oadby, Birstall and Glenfield.