Sheffield 'performing very well' in coronavirus pandemic, MP says

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A Sheffield MP has said the city is “performing very well” in the coronavirus pandemic and claimed it should be a source of pride for residents.

Labour MP for Sheffield South East Clive Betts made the comments when he addressed frequently asked questions from his constituents on Friday.

He said: “Sheffield, and more specifically Sheffield hospitals, are performing very well currently.

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“The figures may be misleading as it shows Sheffield has a particularly high number of cases, but this just reflects the number of tests the city has managed to perform so we can identify those who do have Covid-19 faster than other parts of the UK.”

Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts. Picture: Chris EtchellsSheffield South East MP Clive Betts. Picture: Chris Etchells
Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts. Picture: Chris Etchells

Last week Sheffield’s most senior public health official Greg Fell said the city had reached the peak of coronavirus cases.

Mr Betts added: “The testing has been nearly all on hospital staff which is allowing the health service in the city to establish who and who cannot work to ensure those vulnerable are protected. We should be very proud of how the city is dealing with this crisis.”

Mr Betts also said health professionals will be “working around the clock to ensure that any local action is taken, if required.” It comes as north Sheffield suburb Fir Vale was found to have twice as many coronavirus deaths as any other area of the city.

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Despite describing the situation of coronavirus in care homes nationally as “very serious”, Mr Betts said he has received “positive reports that the majority of care homes are coping well” in Sheffield.

He added: “Once Covid-19 is allowed into a care home an outbreak becomes almost certain at that particular home. That is why it is vital that we protect care homes by making sure no patients are discharged into them without proper testing and isolation where necessary.”

The former Sheffield City Council leader said the biggest issue he has been made aware of in Sheffield’s lockdown is large group gatherings, but not within his constituency.

He said: “If this is the case the police should use every power at their disposal to disperse such large gatherings.”

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