The head of public health for the worst-affected Coronavirus region in England called for an immediate “circuit breaker” for three weeks across the country, describing Boris Johnson’s current approach as “the worst possible outcome”.
Professor Dominic Harrison, Director of Public Health at Blackburn with Darwin Municipal Council, said it was “extremely unlikely” that stricter Level 3 restrictions would reduce infection rate or protect the NHS.
“Frankly, we will need a much tougher set of control measures that look very much like the first complete lockdown, and very much like what France is doing,” he told The Guardian.
“It doesn’t have to be exactly the same as the first shutdown but unless we do a lot more, it really won’t have the desired effect.”
Downing Street faces mounting pressure to implement tougher or nationwide measures amid concerns that the domestic approach will fail. Nearly 60% of England’s population will be subject to such restrictions by Monday, including nearly 11 million people north of Nottinghamshire living under the strictest lockdown restrictions.
The Harrison area, Blackburn, has the highest infection rate in England – at 740 cases per 100,000 people, which is nearly four times the country’s average, according to the latest NHS digital data – despite being subject to local restrictions for 13 weeks.
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