Coronavirus UK Updates: Birmingham council leader calls for national lockdown

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Coronavirus UK Updates: Birmingham council leader calls for national lockdown
Coronavirus UK Updates: Birmingham council leader calls for national lockdown

The Labour leader of Birmingham City Council has called on the Government to impose a new “lockdown” amid rising case rates.

Speaking to BBC Radio WM, Cllr Ian Ward said that in the past week there had been a 36% increase in the city’s seven-day case rate.

He added: “The NHS here in the city is under intensive pressure.

“University Hospital Birmingham has 98% of its intensive care beds occupied and Sandwell and City (hospitals trust) has 100% of its intensive care beds occupied.

“We’re not in a position here to wait until the overall case rate gets up into the thousands, where it is in some London boroughs.

“We need decisive action now and the Government needs to act early for once and get ahead of the curve.”

– Hancock hints at new national lockdown

Matt Hancock hinted at the potential for a new national lockdown, saying the Government is prepared to act “rapidly” where necessary.

The Health Secretary told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “We are prepared to take the sort of action (lockdown) if that is what’s necessary.”

He added: “It’s about not only the measures we put in place but how everybody responds to them.

“We’re prepared to take the action that’s necessary, and sometimes very rapidly.

“When we found out that this new variant spreads so much faster, we moved within just over 24 hours to bring in the Tier 4.”

Asked whether he is prepared to introduce a new national lockdown, Mr Hancock replied: “We look at the data all the time, and we will take the action that is needed based on public health advice.”

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