United Kingdom could lockdown city of Leicester over virus fears

Leicester could become first city to suffer second lockdown

Leicester could become first city to suffer second lockdown

The government says it is supporting officials in Leicester in their battle against coronavirus (Covid-19) after a report the city could be subject to Britain's first local lockdown this week.

The UK government had conducted a review into the disparity in the impact from the coronavirus pandemic among the country's black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups and Public Health England (PHE) said it is exploring further measures required to address the disproportionately adverse impact on some ethnicities.

Speaking on the BBC's The Andrew Marr Show, Priti Patel said it was "correct" the city could see a local lockdown after a spike of Covid-19 case.

"We're talking about the city that has high levels of poverty, high levels of inequality" said the Labour MP, making the point that if the local outbreak is allowed carry on without any action from the government then there will be more deaths.

Reports in the Sunday Times newspaper said the government was set to reimpose strict lockdown rules on Leicester "within the next few days".

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"There will be a support in Leicester and the minister of Health has been in contact with many of us during the weekend to explain some of the measures", she explained. The Leicester area has identified 658 new Covid-19 cases in nearly two weeks since June 16.

An anonymous source close to the cabinet minister said he is "quite worried" and is considering "all options" for the government's response including a return to lockdown which would be imposed exclusively on the city rather than nationally.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) acknowledged on Sunday that the city was a primary concern, urging residents to remain vigilant but did not announce a return to total lockdown for the city. Four sites of screenings have been set up and thousands of screening kits in the home have been made available, said a spokesman for the ministry of Health.

"NHS Test and Trace will contact anyone testing positive to help them identify their recent contacts and advise who may have been near to someone with the virus to stay at home to prevent the spread".

DHSC urged the people of Leicester to keep practice social distancing and advised them to "wash their hands regularly" and to get tested if they have symptoms. The journal links the increase in cases in an epidemic in factories and food production to large gatherings in the vicinity of restaurants offering take-aways.

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