Local authorities in Merseyside are calling for members of the public to remain vigilant and continue to stay home as much as possible, in light of national changes to the UK’s Coronavirus response.
The move comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an easing of the UK lockdown, due to the nation’s ‘R value’ (the reproductive number or rate of infection of the virus) dropping below one transmission per COVID-19 case.
According to data gathered by Merseyside Resilience Forum’s (MRF) Intelligence cell, this is not the case for the Merseyside region which has a significantly higher death rate than England and the rest of the North West.
Serena Kennedy, Chair of Merseyside Resilience Forum, said: “Local authorities across the MRF are united in this call for the public and partners to continue to follow the stay at home guidance, as much as is possible.
“While infections and deaths are reducing, it appears that we are not coming down the other side of the epidemic curve as fast as other areas and regions.
“Easing of lockdown does not mean that we are through the worst of this and as ever, the health and safety of our communities comes first.
“Right now, we need to do more than stay alert, we must all continue to stay at home where possible and do our bit to reduce the spread of Coronavirus, together.”
The latest Government guidance states that everyone must:
- Stay at home as much as possible
- Work from home if you can
- Limit contact with other people
- Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
- Wash your hands regularly
- Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms
Cllr Pat Hackett, Leader of Wirral Council said: “I am urging all Wirral residents to continue to follow the national guidance and stay at home wherever possible.
“Some people may interpret the relaxing of measures to mean things are going back to normal.
“In the ‘new normal’, we must continue to stay at home as much as possible, to keep our distance from others when out and about and, if we show any symptoms of Coronavirus, we must self-isolate.
“I’d like to thank all of you for your continued efforts to reduce the spread of the virus, which I know have come at great physical, emotional and financial cost for many. We must continue to stay strong with these measures to ensure that our most vulnerable are protected.”
Information provided by the Merseyside Resilience Forum’s Intelligence cell:-
As at 6th May 2020, Merseyside had 4,675 positive diagnoses of COVID19, a rate of 340.8 per 100,000, significantly higher than the England rate of 231.9 per 100,000
Merseyside has also seen 1,045 deaths up to 24th April 2020, with 70% of deaths occurring in hospital and 30% of deaths occurring in care homes, private homes, and hospices
Looking at the 729 deaths that had occurred due to COVID19 in Merseyside up to 17th April, Merseyside has a rate per 100,000 of 52.5, significantly higher than the England rate of 36.6 per 100,000 and the North West rate of 42.5 per 100,000.
Within Merseyside, Liverpool has the highest rate at 81.8 per 100,000, the highest of all of the English core cities, with Birmingham being the next highest on 77.5 per 100,000, followed by Manchester at 59.8 per 100,000
While infections and deaths are reducing, it appears that we are not coming down the other side of the epidemic curve as fast as other areas and regions.
The Merseyside Resilience Forum (MRF) is a multi-agency partnership made up of all the organisations needed to prepare for and respond to any emergency in the county. It covers the local authorities of Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral.