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Wolverhampton on brink of having new lockdown restrictions imposed, senior politicians warn

By Peter Madeley | Wolverhampton | Coronavirus | Published:

Wolverhampton is on the brink of having new lockdown restrictions imposed as Covid cases continue to rise, senior politicians today warned.

Wolverhampton could be set for additional lockdown measures after a spike in Covid cases

City council leader Ian Brookfield said the authority had been in talks with Government health officials over bringing in new measures after coronavirus cases rose again over the weekend.

The city is likely to follow Sandwell, Birmingham and Solihull in seeing people banned from meeting others from outside their households.

And Walsall and Dudley could also see additional restrictions imposed unless the number of cases starts to fall.

Mr Brookfield said he had requested that measures are brought in as soon as possible to stop virus cases rising further.

He said: “The numbers are showing no sign of going the right way, and disappointingly they did not go down over the weekend.

"We have been speaking with the Government because we don’t want to wait until Friday for them to bring in new measures.

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"They understand that we need help now and people can fully expect an announcement on necessary measures being brought in earlier than Friday.”

Risk

NHS figures for the week up to September 11 show Wolverhampton has 139 coronavirus cases, at a rate of 53.1 per 100,000 population, although since then cases are said to have risen further.

There were 86 cases in Dudley (26.8) and 81 cases in Walsall (28.6).

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Wolverhampton South East MP Pat McFadden, the Shadow City Minister, said the rise in Covid cases was not helped by failings in the testing system, which had seen people from the Black Country sent as far as Wales for tests.

He said: "Infection rates are rising locally and there is obviously a risk that the kind of restrictions which have been put in place in Birmingham could apply to other places in the West Midlands.

"The situation is not helped by the obvious problems in the testing system where people are being sent long distances for tests.

"The system we have right now is certainly not “world beating”. What we want is something that works, not bluster and overclaim from the Prime Minister.

"The Government has to get a grip on the testing system and ensure we are better prepared for this increase than we were in the first phase of this."

Walsall Council leader Mike Bird, said he was concerned that new restrictions could be brought in for Walsall. He blamed the rise in cases on too many people flouting lockdown rules.

"There is a great concern about new restrictions simply because too many people have become complacent," he said.

"The picture in the whole of the Black Country is looking very bleak and only if people listen to the advice will we be able to stop these restrictions from coming in."

Dudley Council leader Patrick Harley, said he was hopeful that the borough could avoid extra measures if people followed the government's 'rule of six'.

"If we all work together we can make these new rules work and keep everyone safe," he said.

Meanwhile Sandwell – which has seen 100 new cases since Friday and has a spiralling infection rate – has now been hit by an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.

Peter Madeley

By Peter Madeley
@P_Madeley_Star

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.

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