Call to unite in final days of lockdown

Senior council, health and police figures across Leicestershire have made an unprecedented commitment to work together to drive down infection rates in the final days of the second coronavirus lockdown.

At a briefing this morning, they all expressed concern about a surge in Covid-19 cases.

The prominent figures included the county council leader, Leicester's City Mayor, Leicestershire’s chief constable as well as the chief executive of all three NHS clinical commissioning groups.

They say cases in Leicestershire have quadrupled since early October – and they are above the national average.

With rates currently standing at around 500 per 100,000 of the population in Leicester, and very nearly 400 per 100,000 of the Leicestershire population, public health chiefs fear this could leave both the city and the county facing further restrictive measures at the end of the lockdown on 2nd December.

Nick Rushton, leader of Leicestershire County Council: "I can’t emphasis enough how serious the situation is, so I’m calling on everyone to do their bit to save lives. Get a test if you have symptoms and stick to the guidance to defeat this pandemic."

The county council says another concerning factor is the rise in hospital admissions, which are now at higher levels than during the first wave of the pandemic which has, so far, claimed more than 50,000 deaths throughout the UK.

Andy Williams, CEO for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland CCGs, said: “We are now seeing the rise in coronavirus alongside annual winter pressures having a significant impact on health services.

“The number of people needing hospital treatment is higher than the peak in the first wave and hospital services are under extreme pressure. 

“We have taken the difficult decision to stop some non-urgent operations to look after those with the most serious conditions, including emergencies and those needing treatment for cancer. 

“The Emergency Department (Ed) at the Leicester Royal Infirmary is very busy. If your health condition isn’t serious, please contact NHS 111 first who can advise on the best way to treat you, and if necessary, make sure you go to the best place for your treatment. 

“Please also remember that GP practices are open.  They are busy but will provide an appointment if necessary.  Help us to help you by keeping safe and following the guidance to control the spread of Covid-19.”

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