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Community leaders back coronavirus drive

Community leaders are backing calls for a concerted effort to drive down coronavirus rates across Leicestershire.

A range of people – including the Lord Lieutenant, faith leaders and headteachers - are recording video clips urging residents to do the right thing as we near the end of the second national lockdown.

The campaign comes after senior council, health and police figures came together to urge everyone to do their bit following a worrying surge in cases.

Mike Kapur, Lord Lieutenant, launched the initiative and urging people to do their bit to fight the virus.

He said: "I find the situation in Leicester and Leicestershire very worrying, because infection rates aren’t going down. This is putting our families and friends at risk – not just from contracting this horrible virus, but also by making it harder on the NHS. 

“Together we can stop the virus in its tracks by staying at home as much as we can, and taking great care about the risks we take if we do leave the house. We must take this virus seriously.

The drive will feature GPs, faith leaders, local politicians, headteachers, taxi drivers and others. 

Rev. Chris Taylor, Anglican Chaplain at Loughborough University and a member of Loughborough Council of Faiths, is backing the drive, and said: “Throughout Leicestershire, infection rates are rising not falling – this is a source of great worry to me. 

"What I’m doing to try and combat that – to protect myself, my friends, my family, the local community – is minimising the amount of time I go out and not meeting with friends and family, who I would dearly love to see. In this way, I’m protecting them as well as the NHS. 

“Together, we can help to lower these infection rates in the coming days and weeks.”

Councillor Pam Posnett, Chairman of Leicestershire County Council, is lending her support and said: “We can all play our part by remaining at home whenever possible, and by limiting the risks we take.”

Cases in Leicestershire alone have quadrupled since early October – and they are above the national average.

Rates currently stand at around 480 per 100,000 people in Leicester, 360 for Leicestershire and just under 130 for Rutland - the England average is 250.

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