MPs back tough actions to curb Covid second wave

New nationwide lockdown restrictions are needed urgently if the UK is to curb the spread of Covid-19, MPs have said.

Illuminated signs warn residents to the dangers of coronavirus. Here Pete Brittain checks on a sign outside Molineux.
Illuminated signs warn residents to the dangers of coronavirus. Here Pete Brittain checks on a sign outside Molineux.

Pubs, bars and restaurants will have a 10pm closing time from Thursday, with table service only. A full scale lockdown has been ruled out for the time being.

It came as new measures came into force in Wolverhampton today, with people now banned from meeting others from outside their households in homes or gardens.

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Coronavirus cases continued to be a concern across the region. In the seven days to September 18 there were 124 cases in Wolverhampton, a rate of 47.3 per 100,000. In Sandwell, which is now in its second week of local lockdown, 195 new cases were recorded, at 59.6 per 100,000.

There were 113 new cases in Walsall (39.9), 84 in Dudley (26.2) and 183 in Staffordshire (20.9).

Pat McFadden, the Labour MP for Wolverhampton South East, said: "On the back of the warnings from the Chief Medical Officer I would expect new restrictions to be announced.

The sign on Wolverhampton's ring road

"Those may be similar to the household visiting restrictions that have already been introduced in the West Midlands and elsewhere or they may go even further. We will have to see.

"The important thing is that the public heeds the warnings issued today and that people continue to do everything they can to protect themselves and protect those around them.

Problems

"The virus is still there. It hasn’t gone away and it hasn’t become any less dangerous.

"And of course as we have been saying for some time, the Government must also get on top of the testing situation, because the problems we have seen with that over the past week or two are making it more difficult to control this renewed increase in infections."

Shaun Bailey, the Conservative MP for West Bromwich West, said he believed it was possible to avoid a growing death rate from the virus providing people pulled together.

"If we stick to the rules then we can prevent an increase in the death rate from Covid-19," he said.

"I'm confident that people will follow the restrictions and that we will get the rate down. We've come out of the summer now and people understand that they really need to be sensible.

"Providing we all pull together we can come through this."

Marco Longhi, the Conservative MP for Dudley North, said: "We must not forget that this disease is still with us and it is deadly.

"I completely understand and recognise people's concerns about restrictions which have been brought in for some parts of the country.

"When we have restrictions, I think they will be targeted. At the heart of all of this, is that we don't get back to the level of infection that we had earlier in the year.

"Whatever is decided, it is crucial that we stick to it.

"We have to follow the scientific advice and have faith in those who lead us at this difficult time."

In a press conference yesterday Sir Patrick Vallance warned that in a worst case scenario the UK faces 50,000 new daily cases of coronavirus by the middle of October and more than 200 deaths everyday by November.

Professor Whitty said the UK had "in a bad sense literally turned a corner" with rising rates of infection and that the nation needs to view the fight against the virus as a "six month problem" before a vaccine can be found.

Across the region hospital admissions for Covid-19 patients are understood to have been stable over the past seven days.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the nation is in a "critical moment" and warned if people do not follow the rules "we're going to end up back in situations we don't want to be in".

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