25th Oct, 2020

Health chief repeats COVID-19 advice as Birmingham added to watchlist

WORCESTERSHIRE’S Director of Public Health has reiterated safety advice for people after Birmingham was put on the national Covid-19 ‘watch list’.

Dr Kathryn Cobain said while the risk to people in Worcestershire remained low it was important people continued to wash their hands regularly, socially distanced from those they did not live with and wore face coverings when required.

“There has been an increase in Coronavirus cases in Birmingham but here in Worcestershire we have not seen a similar increase.

“The advice remains the same – avoid crowded places, use face coverings and regularly wash your hands when out and about.”

Birmingham has been added to the Government’s list as an ‘area of enhanced support’.

Cases of Covid-19 in the Second City are rising quickly with 30.2 cases per 100,000 and the percentage of people testing positive up to 4.3 per cent.

Over half of cases in the last week have been within the 18 to 34 age demographic.

Local leaders and the Government have therefore agreed initially to make Birmingham an ‘area of enhanced support’, meaning the area will benefit from additional testing, locally-led contact tracing and targeted community engagement.

Further discussions with local leaders are taking place to understand what additional measures should be taken to help manage the outbreak.

The Secretary of State will hold a meeting with local council leaders and the Mayor of the West Midlands today to discuss urgent next steps.

Coun Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “As we have previously said, this announcement was expected following rising Coronavirus case numbers here in Birmingham.

“We are working with our partners locally and at a government level to shape plans and secure the resources such as extra testing that we need that will get the infection rate down.

“We will make announcements as soon as possible about what this means for the people of the city.

“If our previous warnings to keep doing the basics haven’t been enough, this has to be the wake-up call for everyone.

“Wash your hands, wear face coverings wherever possible, keep two metres apart from others and get tested if you have Covid-19 symptoms.”

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