Coventry at crossroads of local lockdown warn public officials

Representatives from the city council, police and public health have asked Coventry to pull together in the fight against coronavirus as the threat of local lockdown looms.

Public officials in Coventry have come together to appeal to residents and businesses to do all they can to fight coronavirus and reverse the continuing rise in cases.

The appeal, described by the city council as an “unprecedented step”, comes as a sustained rise in the number of COVID-19 positive cases threatens to put the city in the ‘area of concern’ category.

Such a classification would see ‘local lockdown’ restrictions on all those who live, work and study in Coventry – similar to the action taken in other cities such as Birmingham and Solihull.

Representatives from the city council, police and public health said the whole city has to pull together and everyone needs to play their part.

Cllr George Duggins, Leader of Coventry City Council, explained that after many months of Coventry keeping its case numbers relatively low, “a recent sustained rise in positive cases means we are now at a crossroads and we may face further restrictions.”

Duggins went on to criticise the Government, saying they need to provide “greater clarity”.

Representatives from the NHS warned that the increase in cases in the community is starting to result in more people being admitted to University Hospital Coventry with the virus.

Professor Kiran Patel, from University Hospital Coventry, commented: “During lockdown one thing the city, and the country, did well was to follow the advice and regulations to help protect the NHS – we need that mentality to return.”

Coventry GP, Dr Sarah Raistrick, reaffirmed advice on how to stay safe and protect yourself and your loved ones.

“It’s really important that everyone remembers that frequent hand washing, using face coverings and where it is possible keep two metres (three steps) apart.”, she said.

Chief Superintendent Mike O’Hara of West Midlands Police said his force are continuing to engage, education and encourage people to follow coronavirus files, but insisted they “won’t hesitate to fine people who continually flout these restrictions”.

While the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Coventry remains lower than neighbouring Birmingham and Solihull who have seen restrictions imposed, it is feared a continual rise in cases could change that.

In a statement, the city council reminded residents of the new fines of up to £10,000 for not self-isolating if required to and asked people to download the new NHS COVID-19 app.