Covid 9 - There May Be Trouble Ahead
This follows on from the last blog post as Leicester, and the weekend’s pub and bar openings, along with the implementation of Test, Trace, Contain, continue to be the big health issues. Here, the Council’s Executive Member for Health, Councillor Bev Craig gives her perspective.
‘Super Saturday’ has opinions divided. No it’s not derby day, but the debate as to who will be heading to the pub this weekend! On balance I have confidence in Manchester people, that as rules become relaxed and people crave some well-deserved normality, common sense will prevail.
As Executive Member for Adult Health and Wellbeing, overseeing the response to COVID 19 has been the focus since January. Yes, you read that right- January. When we returned after Christmas our Public Health team were closely tracking the impact of the outbreak in Wuhan, meaning our plans to respond were well underway, and as the outbreak escalated, the city was in good shape to respond having already stood up local testing teams and plans to protect the vulnerable (such as our work to protect care homes).
I’m proud of our response, especially of Manchester people showing not just caution, but overwhelming concern for their neighbours and communities. But the risk posed by COVID isn’t over.
Which brings me to the most asked question this week: ‘Are we like Leicester?’.
The short answer is no, but if we’re not careful we could be. Our fantastic public health team are monitor daily test results, which shows that on average 10 people a day in Manchester receive a positive COVID 19 test result (Leicester had 467 in the last week).
This week we have launched the Manchester COVID Prevention and Response Plan for the next phase, as the economy reopens and restrictions ease. At the heart of this plan is preventing it’s spread and managing any outbreaks, and will be led by our Public Health experts, and overseen by a Local Engagement Board to make sure that we are working with Manchester people to get the right messages out at the right time. We have a plan, but we can’t do it without you.
The coming months will see an increased role for the national Test, Trace, and Contain approach, to help limit the spread of any new cases. If you receive the call from the track and trace team, I’d ask you to think who you would self-isolate for. It might not be easy, but it’s not just about looking after yourself, but limiting the spread and protecting those around you. Keeping the virus under control also means that we will be less likely we have to enter in to a second lockdown.
Over the coming weeks, this needs to at the forefront of our minds. The virus and the risk of a second wave hasn’t gone away as the situation in Leicester shows. Looking out for each other has got us this far, so let’s make sure that in the next phase of the fight against COVID 19, we are united in looking after ourselves and keeping our communities safe as well as trying to save the local economy.
Cllr Bev Craig is the Executive Member for Adult Health and Wellbeing
You can find out more about the Local Prevention and Response Plan here: