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Plea for lockdown to be obeyed as Covid cases spiral

Political and public health leaders across Liverpool City Region are urging people to follow lockdown rules, as rates of Covid-19 continue to rise dramatically.

The Liverpool City Region’s 7-day rate is now 661.2 cases per 100,000 people, up from 207.4 per 100,000 the previous week. It means the rate has more than tripled in the last 7 days.

Matthew Ashton, Liverpool’s Director of Public Health and Chair of the Multi Agency Intelligence cell of the Merseyside Resilience Forum, which is leading the regional response to the Covid-19 pandemic, said: “The next few weeks are going to be extremely difficult and unfortunately it will be some time until we see the impact of the lockdown take effect. People need to stay at home as much as possible. Only leave the house when absolutely necessary. People need to stick to the rules, and ask themselves just because they can do something, that does not mean they should.

“If you are a frontline worker and have a symptom-free test centre in your area, get tested regularly so you can self-isolate before symptoms show. We are working hard with health and government partners to accelerate the rollout of the vaccine for the most vulnerable groups but this will not happen overnight.

“In the meantime we need people to redouble their efforts to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, and challenge those friends and relatives who are not doing so.”

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Like many areas across the country we are seeing rates of Covid increase exponentially in the Liverpool City Region and this is of grave concern to us all.

“In the coming days we will start to see the full impact of Christmas relaxations on our Covid rates and we know that when rates go up, hospital admissions and, sadly, deaths will follow.

“Now that vaccines have begun to rollout, we have a clear route to ending this pandemic and we will be doing everything we can as a city region to speed up that rollout wherever possible. However, while this is happening, we still have some very, very difficult weeks ahead.”

“In our region we are known for our solidarity and community spirit. So, I am urging everyone to continue to do the right thing and abide by the restrictions; stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives.”