Coronavirus UK updates: Northern Ireland will soon need local lockdowns, expert predicts

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Coronavirus UK Updates: 529 new COVID-19 deaths, 19,609 cases
Coronavirus UK Updates: 529 new COVID-19 deaths, 19,609 cases

Northern Ireland is approaching the point at which local lockdowns will become necessary, its chief scientific adviser has warned.

The region recorded 93 new Covid-19 cases over the weekend.

Professor Ian Young said the rising numbers were of “considerable concern” and represented a tenfold increase on infection rates earlier in the summer.

He said two council areas – Antrim & Newtownabbey and Mid & East Antrim – were particularly affected by surges.

Prof Young told BBC Radio Ulster: “I think we’re getting close to the point, certainly in those areas with the high numbers of cases, that we may have to consider whether any additional local measures are required.

“I don’t think we’re at the point where we’d be considering measures across the whole of Northern Ireland because there are still many parts of Northern Ireland where, as a result of public behaviours and other factors, the level of virus remains at a low level.”

The expert adviser said a “one-size-fits-all approach” would not be appropriate when it came to any renewed restrictions.

“We are undoubtedly seeing Covid fatigue and that leads into complacency,” he added.

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