English metropolis of Leicester hit by 'whack-a-mole' lockdown as virus surges

“The extra folks observe the principles, the quick we’ll get management of this virus and get Leicester again to regular.”

The federal government has lengthy warned that native lockdowns – which Prime Minister Boris Johnson has likened to a sport of “whack-a-mole” – can be deployed if authorities struggled to manage the illness because the nationwide lockdown is eased. The Leicester lockdown would be the first actual check of whether or not the method is efficient or impractical.

A metropolis council employee carries garbage from a coronavirus testing centre at Spinney Park in Leicester. Credit score:Getty

The UK’s coronavirus demise toll stands at 43,575, though ‘extra demise’ information suggests as much as 65,000 folks have died for the reason that outbreak took maintain in March.

Leicester represents about 10 per cent of all new confirmed coronavirus instances within the nation over the previous week.

It has had a relatively excessive variety of infections for a number of weeks and it’s not clear whether or not

the gradual easing of Britain’s nationwide lockdown throughout June has had any impact on exacerbating a longtime native cluster.

“Sadly, whereas instances in most elements of the nation have fallen for the reason that peak, in Leicester they’ve continued to rise,” Hancock mentioned.

A member of the U.K. armed forces takes a completed COVID-19 test from a driver at a mobile testing centre in Leicester on Monday

A member of the U.Ok. armed forces takes a accomplished COVID-19 check from a driver at a cellular testing centre in Leicester on MondayCredit score:Darren Staples/Bloomberg

The 7-day an infection price within the metropolis stands at 135 instances per 100,000 folks – 3 times better than Britain’s subsequent highest metropolis.

Deaths, hospitalisations and infections have all declined throughout the UK over latest weeks, main

Johnson to order the reopening of non-essential outlets on June 15. Eating places, pubs, cafes and museums will probably be allowed to reopen on July four in England. The devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Eire are making comparable plans however are appearing barely extra cautiously.

Hancock mentioned the Leicester outbreak meant non-essential shops must shut once more, and eating places and pubs wouldn’t be allowed to reopen on July four as deliberate. He promised to evaluation the measures in a fortnight however some type of lockdown is more likely to final for at the very least a month.

Labour’s shadow well being secretary Jonathan Ashworth – who represents a constituency in Leicester’s south – supported the measures however questioned why the federal government had waited so lengthy.

“We had been alerted to the state of affairs in Leicester 11 days in the past, and now now we have obtained tonight the whack-a-mole technique,” Ashworth mentioned.

“But when we’re as a nation to ease from the lockdown easily, then these areas which do see flare-ups will want better pace within the response in any other case we danger no moles getting whacked.”


Hancock additionally used his late-night deal with to Parliament to spotlight two milestones within the UK’s disaster: no COVID-19 deaths had been recorded in Scotland for a fourth consecutive day, and there have been now no intensive care sufferers with coronavirus in Northern Eire.

Johnson will define his plans to revive Britain’s shattered financial system throughout a significant speech on Tuesday.

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