Preston is “one to watch” when it comes to Covid-19 developments, according to Lancashire’s top medic.
Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, Director of Public Health at Lancashire County Council, made the statement at a Lancashire Resilience Forum press conference on Friday (31 July).
In the seven days to Sunday 26 July, Preston’s infection rate was 21.2 cases per 100,000 people, an increase from 9.9 cases per 100,000 people in the week before.
The statistic also compares unfavourably to England’s average infection rate, which stands at around 14.6 cases per 100,000 people.
Speaking to Lancs Live, Dr Sakthi said: “Preston is another one to watch. It looks as if the infection rate goes anywhere near 20 [cases] per 100,000 population there is a response. There are more restrictions put in place. But it remains to be seen and it is in our hands – quite literally.”
Dr Sakthi revealed the city’s local coronavirus response plan had been activated on Thursday (30 July), with extra testing taking place.
He said: “We are testing slightly more than the national average. The test positivity is about 2.5 per cent, which is higher than the average of 1.1 per cent. The incidence is increasing.
“All of this, we know is an issue in Preston. As of yesterday we activated our plan.”
Read more: Preston residents urged to help prevent a local lockdown
Dr Sakthi believes this kind of pattern may emerge in towns and cities across the country.
“We must anticipate and get ready and get the public ready for the fact that it is going to be like this in the next phase of the pandemic.
“We are doing everything we can and we want everyone to play their part in reducing transmission of the virus.”
Read more: See the latest Preston news and headlines
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