Leicester could face a localised lockdown after a rise in coronavirus cases, the Home Secretary Priti Patel has confirmed.
In an interview on the Andrew Marr Show, she said it was “correct” that the government was considering the move,which was also reported in The Sunday Times.
About 25% of Leicester’s 2,494 confirmed Covid-19 cases were reported in the two weeks before 16th June.
But the Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said there was “no immediate prospect” of a lockdown.
Ms Patel said she had spoken to Health Secretary Matt Hancock about a possible local lockdown, and said “extra support” would be going into the area.
“With local flare-ups, it is right we have a local solution”, she said.
Leciester City Council issued this update:
In the last two weeks, Leicester has seen a sizeable increase in the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 – so it’s vital that everyone in the city continues to stay at home as much as possible, maintains social distancing, and washes their hands regularly to protect themselves and their loved ones from the virus.
Latest figures (16 June 2020) from Public Health England show that 2,494 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in Leicester since the start of the epidemic.
Of these, 658 cases were reported in the last two weeks.
And while some of this increase could be down to the wider availability of testing, Leicester’s public health team is now looking into what else could be behind the upward trend.
Ivan Browne, director of public health at Leicester City Council, said: “Although the overall numbers are relatively small, we are concerned that the number of cases of Covid-19 in Leicester is increasing.
“Leicester has high levels of health conditions such as diabetes, pockets of deprivation, and a very significant Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic population – and we know that these factors combine to create a high-risk, more vulnerable, population that’s more susceptible to coronavirus.
“That’s why it’s so important that people in Leicester stay at home as much as possible and continue to do what we’ve all been doing for the last few months – and that’s washing our hands regularly throughout the day and keeping two metres away from anyone we don’t live with.
“As the rules are gradually relaxed, and people who have been living on their own can ‘bubble up’ with another household, we must not stop taking those basic precautions. Wearing a face covering in confined spaces and on public transport and in hospitals will also help reduce the risk of transmission to others.
“And while young people may be at less risk of serious illness from coronavirus themselves, they must understand that they could pass the virus on to elderly or vulnerable members of their families – and the consequences for them could be much more serious.
“New data from Public Health England shows that the median age of those infected is now 40 – representing a shift in age to younger working age individuals, compared to the previous period in the outbreak.
“It’s very important to remember that the virus hasn’t gone away – and that we’re still in the middle of an epidemic.
“If we all stay alert and take sensible precautions, we can help stop the spread of this very contagious virus.”