Ministers urged to strengthen lockdown after Covid deaths in region pass 5,000

Ministers have been urged to strengthen the lockdown after Covid deaths in the region passed 5,000.

Coronavirus intensive care ward
Coronavirus intensive care ward

Pressure is mounting for extra measures to be brought in while the vaccine roll out ramps up, with MPs today warning delaying a decision will cost more lives and pile pressure on our struggling hospitals.

In the past week the Black Country and Staffordshire have seen nearly 1,500 new cases each day, with infection rates hitting record levels.

The daily number of coronavirus deaths at Black Country, Birmingham and Staffordshire hospitals as of January 12. By date of death, not date death was announced. Data: NHS England.

Extra restrictions understood to be under consideration include banning people from different households from meeting outside and a curfew.

Shadow City Minister Pat McFadden, the MP for Wolverhampton South East, said: “The NHS is under huge pressure and the staff are fighting a desperate struggle to care for people and save lives.

"If we have to implement stricter measures to save more livesthen we shouldn’t hesitate to do so.

“Delaying decisions and putting things off has made the situation worse, not better.”

In Wolverhampton the infection rate is now 1,013.5 per 100,000 people, while in Walsall it has doubled in the past week to 826.

Stephen Gunther, director of Public Health Walsall said: “With the rapidly increasing rate that we are seeing in the borough, the danger is very real.”

Police chiefs warned rule-breakers are more likely to be fined as Covid laws are enforced more quickly. West Midlands Police has handed out nearly 1,000 fines.

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