'No concerns' over lockdown in Doncaster despite reports of rise in Covid cases

Health bosses in Doncaster have played down the prospect of any local lockdown measures being imposed in the borough amid reports of a rise in local coronavirus cases.

Tuesday, 30th June 2020, 1:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th June 2020, 1:26 pm

Doncaster Council said in a statement issued today that Public Health England "has not raised any concerns" about the number of new Covid-19 cases.

It came in response to a report in the Daily Telegraph saying the borough was one of 36 areas where the number of weekly cases was rising.

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Doncaster council issued a statement after a report claimed there had been a rise in local cases. Pic: Getty

Citing Public Health England data, it said there were 32 new cases reported between June 20 and 26, compared with 11 the previous week.

The same data showed the number of new cases in Wakefield rose from three to six, while York went from zero new cases to one. All other Yorkshire local authority areas saw the number of new cases fall.

Dr Rupert Suckling, Director of Public Health at Doncaster Council, said in a statement: “More data is now becoming available nationally and this will be open to scrutiny and speculation."

He added that there had been a high number of positive cases since figures started including 'pillar 2' results from swab testing of the wider population.

Previous only 'pillar 1' results, based on swab testing in labs and NHS hospitals for those with a clinical need, and health and care workers, were reported.

Dr Suckling said: "Since the reporting of both pillar 1 and pillar 2 testing we have seen a high number of positive cases beginning with the week 25th to 31st May and this coincided with widespread testing in our care homes where we identified a number of asymptomatic positive cases.

"We have also seen cases in health and care workers, with sporadic cases in schools.

“However, the weekly testing from the week 8th -14th June shows a significant reduction. We are not complacent and encourage everyone with symptoms to self-isolate and arrange to be tested.

"We are working closely with the local Public Health England centre which has not raised any concerns with us. The advice about hand washing, keeping our distance and following guidance is still paramount and will help to manage infection outbreaks.”

It comes as the first local lockdown was imposed on the city of Leicester after a surge in the number of cases.

“We are of course looking across the country at the cities where cases of this virus remain higher than elsewhere,” Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed last night.

“However, the number of cases in Leicester is three times higher than the next highest city.”

Conservative Don Valley MP Nick Fletcher said he had discussed the reporting with Public Health England and had been reassured the figures were due to an increase in testing, specifically the "pillar 2" testing, which is carried out by private labs.

He said: "The increase in numbers was due to the increase in testing, we're still testing at these high levels now and there's been a significant reduction in cases but we can't be complacent, the last thing we want to see is a rise."