Government criticised for taking 11 days to enforce Leicester coronavirus lockdown
Jul 01 2020
Responding to Hancock's statement in the House of Commons yesterday, Ashworth said: "The virus remains deadly, it causes significant longterm harm and still demands a resolute response".
Schools in the city, where the remains of King Richard III of England were found under a auto park in 2012, will close again from tomorrow, with Mr Hancock saying there had been an unusually high incidence of infections in children there.
Why the delay? Leicester City Council had been waiting to be given the data from the upsurge in positive Covid-19 tests.
"I don't think there is anything peculiar about Leicester", he said.
Leicester accounted for 10 percent of all positive cases in England in the past week, the government said.
Chinese authorities have imposed a lockdown on about 400,000 people in Anxin county, Hebei province, to combat another small outbreak.
'We also went into some of the factories and workplaces where there was an outbreak and we put in place measures.
"These sort of much more targeted measures have worked in other outbreaks".
"Unfortunately, the clinical advice is that the relaxation of shielding measures due on July 6 can not now take place in Leicester".
"In Leicester we support what the government has done, but they have been slow about it".
"I've had lots of speculation and lots of questions about where it is in the community and we have not as yet been able to give satisfactory answers even to ourselves, no matter anybody else, about which parts of the community need the intervention".
Mr Hancock said the easing of the lockdown planned for the rest of England on July 4 can not happen in Leicester because of rising cases.
Shopkeepers pulled down their shutters, cafe owners paused reopening plans and schools prepared to send children home in the English city of Leicester on Tuesday after the British government imposed a local lockdown to contain a spike in coronavirus cases.
The Conservative MP told BBC Radio 5 Live that the garment industry should have been in lockdown, but workers had carried on.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesman said the UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock would be meeting leaders from Leicester in central England on Monday afternoon to "discuss the situation".
Asked if some aspects of the lockdown would be enforced by the police, he said: "Yes, in some cases".
'We will of course continue to play our part in keeping people in the city safe and healthy'.
"On top of that there is quite a substantial food processing industry".
"From tomorrow, non-essential retail will have to close, and as children have been particularly impacted by this outbreak, schools will also need to close from Thursday", he said.
He said: "We need to have local lockdowns and local whack-a-mole strategies where that's necessary".
He said there was an issue with "illegal manufacturers" in Leicester but added: "There's nothing we've seen that it (the spread of coronavirus) could be associated with them".
"The problem is that the United Kingdom accounts for more than 10 per cent of all deaths in world, even though it has less than 1 per cent of the world's population and at every step of this crisis, from lockdown delay, equipment shortages, care home neglect, testing delay and more the government has failed to adequately protect communities", she said.
She added: "Let's be clear - the restrictions being re-introduced are not the fault of the local population".