Local lockdown in Blackburn ‘a last resort’


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Image caption

Most of Blackburn’s new instances are in the south Asian group

A neighborhood lockdown in Blackburn with Darwen is “the very last resort” in tackling the realm’s rise in coronavirus instances, its public well being boss has stated.

The Lancashire borough is overtaking Leicester as England’s coronavirus hotspot, in line with official figures.

It recorded the very best an infection price, with 82.6 instances per 100,000 folks, in the week to 17 July, Public Health England knowledge confirmed.

Prof Dominic Harrison stated he can be “reluctant” to impose an area lockdown.

The variety of instances in the borough practically doubled to 123 in the previous week, in contrast with 63 the week earlier than.

The newest figures are topic to every day revision, however they mirror the place reported on Monday afternoon.

New measures to curb the unfold of Covid-19 in Blackburn with Darwen have already been launched after a spike.

They embody carrying face coverings in enclosed public areas and tighter limits on guests from one other family, whereas officers have additionally urged folks to bump elbows in place of handshakes and hugs.

New instances in Leicester, the place there’s a native lockdown, have fallen to a price of 81.6 per 100,000, with 290 new infections, in contrast with 428 the earlier week.


By Daniel Wainwright, BBC England Data Unit

The knowledge on new instances of coronavirus is printed each afternoon, and meaning new outcomes for earlier days are being added in on a regular basis.

So far, trying on the week as much as Friday, Blackburn with Darwen has recorded twice the variety of instances it had in the earlier week, whereas instances in Leicester – which is in a localised lockdown – seem like falling.

Last Wednesday, Blackburn with Darwen recorded 35 instances and Leicester had 38. However, with Leicester having a inhabitants greater than twice the dimensions of Blackburn with Darwen, that gave the Lancashire borough a better price of latest instances per 100,000 residents.

Most new instances in the Blackburn space have been among the many south Asian group centred in terraced homes with a excessive variety of occupants, public well being officers have stated.

Prof Harrison, public well being director of Blackburn with Darwen Council, warned that instances would proceed to rise.

He stated: “We should be concerned the figures have gone up, but I entirely expected them to and I expect them to rise again this week.”

Prof Harrison warned an area lockdown could possibly be imposed if issues weren’t circled, however added: “We would solely use these powers as a really, very last resort.

“We’ve had good co-operation, so I would be very reluctant to use the powers.”

At the weekend it was revealed that contact tracers had reached solely about half of Covid-19 contacts in the realm.


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Media caption‘We do not wish to finish in lockdown like Leicester’

Sam Ali, from the Switch Youth Community Organisation in the city, stated: “We have all been affected by this.

“Anyone throughout the nation would not prefer to be on the radar of going into one other lockdown, but it surely’s vital to grasp that the pandemic continues to be right here.

“We have to put on the suitable masks, we have to wash our arms, we have to maintain distant.

“Blackburn is a fantastic town. We’re going to get stronger from this.”

Steve Hartley, 52, who lives in Darwen, stated: “You see extra folks in masks however lots of people aren’t social distancing or carrying them.

“It’s surprising however some folks nonetheless simply aren’t taking it significantly regardless of every little thing that is occurring.

“Now a lot of shops have signs in the windows telling people they can’t come in without a mask.”