No need for more local lockdowns, say leaders of areas on coronavirus ‘watch list’

Rochdale Borough Council’s chief executive, Steve Rumbelow, said: “We’re not at all as bad as Leicester. 

“The one thing we don’t have from PHE, which is crucial in managing the local situation, is the detailed data from the testing. We are lacking the community information which would allow us to go to a particular street and take test and trace measures and pick up on contacts people have had to prevent any further spread.”

In Bradford, local MPs asked why it had taken so long for the Government to share critical data. It emerged on Wednesday that PHE only began sharing more detailed results – including from widespread testing in the community – on June 22.

Naz Shah, the Labour MP for Bradford West, said: “Surely more should have been done to communicate with local authorities so that badly affected areas were able to implement local precautions to mitigate the risk of a surge in cases.”

The British Medical Association (BMA) also called on the Government to provide more timely and detailed data to local authorities. 

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the chairman of the BMA Council, said: “The prime minister has talked about a ‘whack-a-mole’ strategy to tackle local outbreaks, but this is no use if the people leading the response on the ground – be they public health teams or local leaders – are not given the most accurate, up-to-date data possible.

“This is crucial to allow swift action and protect lives and the health service, and something that is not happening right now.”

The official data showing the rate of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people for the week ending June 21 was published for the first time on the PHE online “dashboard” on Wednesday morning.

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