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Over 100 local Covid-19 'local actions' per week, Health Secretary reveals
13 July 2020, 06:31
Local outbreaks of Covid-19 have led to more than 100 "local actions" being taken across the country, the Health Secretary has said.
The Minister revealed officials have been able to target specific coronavirus flare-ups due to an increase in testing which has led to local lockdown instead of national restrictions
Mr Hancock said public health officials have been "swiftly and silently" dealing with small-scale restrictions.
In his article for the Telegraph, Mr Hancock said that local interventions, which include the closure of pubs, schools and businesses and increased testing at a local level, are running into triple figures each week, a higher figure than had previously been reported.
The Health Secretary's comments come after a farm in Herefordshire was one of the lastest sites to go into lockdown following 73 cases of Covid-19, leading to around 200 workers being quarantined.
Monday, meanwhile, marks two weeks since it was announced Leicester would be the first city to be placed under local lockdown due to a spike in cases.
Coronavirus legislation requires any local restrictions be reviewed, which will reportedly happen later this week.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Hancock said: "Each week there are more than 100 local actions taken across the country - some of these will make the news, but many more are swiftly and silently dealt with.
"This is thanks in large part to the incredible efforts of local authorities - all of whom have stepped up and published their local outbreak control plans in line with the end of June deadline."
In an article for the newspaper, the Health Secretary said officials will "hunt down the virus" by targeting areas of concern.
An increased testing capacity means the Government can take "more targeted local action and less national lockdown" to allow the easing of measures for the majority of the country, he said.
The newspaper reports that door-to-door testing, which was utilised in the worst-hit areas of Leicester, is to be used more widely to curb outbreaks in the coming months.
Portable walk-in centres will also be stationed in areas where there is a flare-up of the virus.
On Sunday, Public Health England (PHE) Midlands and Herefordshire Council said around 200 employees at vegetable producer AS Green and Co were put into lockdown following a Covid-19 outbreak among the workforce.
Some 73 workers tested positive for the virus, leading to the whole group of workers, who live in shared accommodation at Rook Row Farm, to be isolated together as "one extended bubble".
The council said it is arranging food and essential supplies for residents on the site while they self-isolate.