clearn.png
Friday July 10th, 2020 11:43PM

UK considers first local lockdown in COVID-19 pandemic

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s government is considering a lockdown for the central English city of Leicester amid a spike of COVID-19 cases — the first time that a single U.K. area would face such an extreme measure during the pandemic.

The Sunday Times first reported that a lockdown could come within days after 658 new cases were recorded in the Leicester area in the two weeks up to June 16. Home Secretary Priti Patel acknowledged in a BBC interview Sunday that ministers were considering the move.

“There will be support going into Leicester and in fact the health secretary was in touch with many of us over the weekend explaining some of the measures, the support on testing, resources that will go into the local authority as well,’’ Patel said. “With local flare-ups it is right we have a localized solution.’’

But Patel gave no indication of the number of people who could be affected by the local lockdown being discussed or whether the surrounding area would be affected. Leicester has a city population of 330,000.

The spike comes amid fears that the disease has been spreading through the city’s large Asian community, who often live in multi-generational households. The local outbreak underscores the disproportionate hit that the pandemic has had on Britain’s minority communities.

Britain has Europe's worst confirmed coronavirus death toll, with some 43,600 dead and Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative government has been strongly criticized for what has been seen as a slow, chaotic response to the pandemic.

Britain is now slowly emerging from a total national lockdown imposed on March 23, with plans to ease things further by early next month. That reopening plan has rested on the notion that local outbreaks could be tamped down through aggressive programs to track, test and trace those infected.

Now with a test case in the offing, it is becoming clear that carrying out such a plan may not prove so simple.

Keith Neal, emeritus professor of the epidemiology of infectious diseases at the University of Nottingham, said defining the lockdown area would be “one of the biggest problems,” as local authority boundaries can run down the middle of a street.

People will be confused as to who is in the lockdown and who is out, he said.

“Locking down at the regional level would be seen as unfair or worse, as Leicester City has really very little to do with rural Lincolnshire,’’ he said. “People do not identify with their regional boundaries and many would not actually know where they are.”

Local lawmaker Claudia Webbe accused the government of being slow to respond and said that local authorities have not been given the help and the information they need to attack the outbreak head on.

“What they’ve been doing is giving Leicester bows and arrows to address a major pandemic problem,’’ she told the BBC. “This is ridiculous.’’

___

Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Health, AP World News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
UK considers first local lockdown in COVID-19 pandemic
Britain’s government is considering a lockdown of the central English city of Leicester amid a spike of COVID-19 cases
9:51AM ( 2 minutes ago )
Confirmed cases hit 10 million; Pence skips campaign rallies
Worldwide confirmed coronavirus infections have hit the 10 million mark as voters in Poland and France went to the polls for virus-delayed elections
9:48AM ( 6 minutes ago )
The Latest: Russia reports 6,791 new cases in past day
Russia has recorded 6,791 new cases in the past day
9:41AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
China reviews heavily criticized Hong Kong security bill
China's legislature is reviewing a controversial national security bill for Hong Kong that critics worldwide say will severely compromise human rights in the semi-autonomous Chinese region
7:37AM ( 2 hours ago )
The Latest: Confirmed coronavirus cases pass 10 million
Confirmed coronavirus infections have surpassed the 10 million mark worldwide
7:06AM ( 2 hours ago )
Taiwan holds LGBT pride parade despite coronavirus
The Taiwanese capital has held its annual LGBT pride parade, making it one of the few places in the world to proceed with such an event in the face of the coronavirus pandemic
6:53AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP World News
Confirmed cases hit 10 million; Pence skips campaign rallies
Worldwide confirmed coronavirus infections have hit the 10 million mark as voters in Poland and France went to the polls for virus-delayed elections
9:48AM ( 6 minutes ago )
The Latest: Russia reports 6,791 new cases in past day
Russia has recorded 6,791 new cases in the past day
9:41AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Trump denies briefing on reported bounties against US troops
President Donald Trump is denying that he'd been briefed on reported U.S. intelligence that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants for killing American troops in Afghanistan
9:14AM ( 39 minutes ago )
A divided Poland holds presidential vote delayed by pandemic
Poles have begun voting in a presidential election that had been scheduled for May but was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic
8:53AM ( 1 hour ago )
Lebanon's FM to summon US envoy over comments on Hezbollah
Lebanon's state-run National News Agency is reporting that the country's foreign minister has summoned the U.S. ambassador to Beirut over comments she made recently in which she criticized the militant Hezbollah group
8:29AM ( 1 hour ago )