Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020

Coronavirus map LIVE: Birmingham faces ‘tragedy’ and new lockdown measures as cases spike

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Officials in the West Midlands have issued a rallying cry for residents to stick to the current coronavirus guidelines amid a surge in cases across the region. The Government is understood to be closely monitoring Birmingham and is poised to introduce local lockdown restrictions if necessary.

Councillor Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council, has plead with residents to follow the rules or face fresh lockdown restrictions.

He said: “If we don’t follow the basic health advice to keep washing hands, to wear face coverings, to keep 2m apart where possible and to get tested when we have symptoms, we will face more tragedy in the weeks and months ahead.

“More people will fall seriously ill, there will be more deaths and our economy will face another hammer blow, when it needs all the support it can get.

“We are living with COVID-19 and it isn’t going away soon, so we urge everyone to keep doing their bit to keep themselves, and everyone else, safe.”

The leaders of the seven metropolitan councils across the West Midlands – Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull and Walsall – have clubbed together to reiterate the importance of following the rules, including wearing face coverings in shops and keeping a safe distance from other households.

The officials have also urged the Government to ensure testing is widely available.

It comes after the number of people testing positive rose 27 percent in a week.

Dr Justin Varney, director of public health in Birmingham, has said the rise in cases has triggered national concern.

He said the next seven days will be crucial, and determine whether the are goes into lockdown or not.


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