Local lockdowns a glimpse into the future, public health expert warns

30 June 2020, 11:38

The expert advising the Scottish government on coronavirus has warned that local lockdowns will become a more regular occurrence in the UK.

Leicester became the first area to have a local lockdown as the city looks to halt an outbreak, which has had one in 10 coronavirus cases in England in the last two weeks.

Non-essential shops will be closed, schools will shut for all but key workers and pubs and restaurants will not be allowed to re-open on Saturday.

Devi Sridhar, the Chair of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, insisted the UK is likely to see more of the local action to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Speaking to James O'Brien, she said: "I think it's a glimpse into the future, especially given that the strategy seems to be just to let the virus go and at a certain point, is passes the threshold - perhaps it's going to breach NHS capacity in the local area and you implement a lockdown.

"I don't think there's really a strategy. We're having pubs open, we're having indoor locations opening and people want to go back to their lives.

"But if you look across at the states to Florida and Arizona, we can see our future in front of us if we don't have infrastructure in place to suppress the virus through testing and tracing."

James O'Brien heard we would see more local lockdowns in the future
James O'Brien heard we would see more local lockdowns in the future. Picture: LBC / PA

READ MORE: Matt Hancock promises travel restrictions if people don't obey Leicester lockdown

Ms Sridhar also warned that coronvirus has not yet reached its peak - and that we're only in the early-to-middle phase of the pandemic.

She stated: "Globally, we still haven't hit the peak. This is still taking off in most low-income countries.

"We're just at the early-to-middle phase."