As latest coronavirus infection rates continue to fall across Lancashire scientists have urged the government not to lift lockdown restrictions too quickly.Advertisement
Preston’s new Covid-19 cases for Friday (5 February) were 62 new recorded cases.
South Ribble recorded 49 new cases for the same day.
Wyre was up by 31 cases, Ribble Valley just 12, Fylde by 22 and Chorley had 40 new cases.
The city’s infection rate is now 328.4 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to February 1, down from 436 cases per 100,000 people for the seven days to January 25.
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Data for the most recent four days (February 2-5) has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases.
South Ribble’s infection rate is slightly higher at 344.8, down from 363.8 – for the same two seven day periods as Preston.
Wyre’s rate is now 239.1, down from 262.3 and Fylde is at 253.8, down from 320.6.
Ribble Valley is now 241.4, down from 330.1 and Chorley’s infection rate is 230.1, down from 295.2.
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As the Prime Minister prepares to announce in mid-February the ‘route out of lockdown’ the pressure from backbench MPs and scientists in rival camps is growing.
Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Conservation MPs, has urged the government to open up the country.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We don’t want the Government to be behind the curve if things continue moving as positively and as rapidly as they are.
“Now that that threat is receding, we ought to be – and indeed we are, and the Government says we are – looking to open up.”
A number of scientists, who are currently or who have previously advised the government on the pandemic, have said opening up too quickly could lead to a big surge in cases.
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Dr Mike Tildesley of Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (Spi-M) joined calls for ministers to be cautious.
The real concern here and where we really need to be careful is that it all comes down to R number.
“As soon as we start to relax, things go up. The key thing for me is we need to get our children back to school first – that’s clearly the most important thing.
“But I would really encourage it needs to be gradual stepping out of lockdown so that we don’t get a resurgence as we move into the spring.”
Elsewhere reports have indicated a return to some limited outdoor socialising may be on the cards for some point in March.
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Downing Street has confirmed by May all adults aged over 50 should have received a coronavirus vaccine.
A spokesman said Boris Johnson would set out a “precise timeline” for vaccinations when he publishes the Government’s roadmap for lifting lockdown restrictions in England on February 15.
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