Birmingham residents have been warned that the UK’s second-largest city could be heading towards a local lockdown if steps aren’t taken now to “halt the spread” of coronavirus cases.
It comes after a sharp rise in the number of coronavirus cases from 13.8 per 100,000 people on August 14 to the mid to high 20s per 100,000 on Thursday, according to Birmingham City Council, which told Euronews that the situation is “ever-moving”.
Non-essential visits to care homes were banned on Tuesday and the city council is urging people to ensure social distancing guidelines are still being rigorously met.
In a statement on Thursday, the leader of Birmingham City Council, Councillor Ian Ward said: “We cannot afford to undo the progress we have made since the spring in the fight against COVID-19, but we’re now at a crossroads.
“If we don’t follow the basic health advice to keep washing hands, to wear face coverings, to keep 2m apart where possible and to get tested when we have symptoms, we will face more tragedy in the weeks and months ahead.
“More people will fall seriously ill, there will be more deaths and our economy will face another hammer blow, when it needs all the support it can get.
“We are living with COVID-19 and it isn’t going away soon, so we urge everyone to keep doing their bit to keep themselves, and everyone else, safe.”
Birmingham could be put on a national watchlist to monitor the situation. The latest watchlist is due to be published on Friday. If this happens, Birmingham will be monitored more closely and if cases do not start to come down, tighter restrictions will be put in place.
Currently on the watchlist is Sandwell, which is in the Black Country area of Birmingham, and Leicester – in the East Midlands.
There have been 5,710 deaths from coronavirus in the West Midlands region since January 10.