Coronavirus second wave: Britons at risk as minister warns ‘We can’t be blasé about this!’

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Coronavirus outbreaks have forced parts of the North of England including Greater Manchester, parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire into lockdown to stop any further spread. A minister has said the rules, which bans people from different households meeting following a spike, are completely necessary. He went on to warn that a there is a threat of a second wave but the UK isn’t going through it at this moment in time. 

Speaking to LBC, Mr Clarke said: “We are not going through a second wave at the moment.

“We are taking robust measures to make sure we are able to avoid that scenario.

“There are clearly areas in the country where there have been some upticks in the outbreak range and that’s why we’ve taken the action we have in Greater Manchester, east Lancashire and west Yorkshire.

“We can’t apologise for doing that, it’s what is necessary at this time.

“But if we want to make sure that we don’t see a second wave and of course data is always changing and this virus hasn’t gone away.

“We do need to make sure we do follow the rules that are in place for our own protection.

“There is a risk of a second wave and we shouldn’t be in any way blasé.”

It comes as the local authority with the highest Covid-19 infection rate in England has set up its own contact tracing system.

Staff from Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council will use their local knowledge to help find people who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.

Details will be passed on to the local service if the national NHS Test and Trace system cannot make contact with a local resident after two days.

A home visit from the local public protection team will take place if another 48 hour passes and the resident has not responded by email, text or phone.

Senior council officer Paul Fleming, who is developing the scheme in partnership with Public Health England, said: “Test and trace is a vital part of the national strategy to get the virus under control. It is even more vital in areas like ours where we have a rising tide of cases.

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“Our system complements the national system because we have the local knowledge of the area and the ability to send officers round to people’s addresses. Our system is also beneficial because we can refer those who need to isolate to local support services if necessary.

“Our system has already gone live and we are already seeing its benefits as we have managed to contact people the national system couldn’t.

“I want to ask all residents to continue to work with us, continue to follow our advice and guidance and continue to take responsibility.”

Council leader Mohammed Khan said: “Once again we see how local government, with its knowledge and connection to the local area, can rise to the challenge and deliver for our residents.

“I am proud that we have designed and delivered an effective and efficient local system to complement the national programme very quickly.”

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