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Weekly press Covid-19 press conference with Public Health Northamptonshire
Last updated: Friday, 11 December, 2020, 15:50
- The rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine has begun…but what happens next?
- How are our hospitals coping?
- Updates from the University of Northampton, the police and schools
Ms Wightman said rather than reflect on whether lockdown was successful or not - I’d like to reflect on the behaviours we saw after the announcement of lockdown. During those four days since the announcement, some people took the opportunity to go and do things which caused a 53% in cases. If we had gone into lockdown with about 1,000 cases and we halved cases - if people hadn’t behaved like that, we would have 500 cases today. If you amplify that over a five-day period and more mixing you can understand where we are likely to be at the beginning of the new year. Someone doesn’t want to give someone they love Covid - and all the discussions we’ve had about the impact of the pandemic - we are potentially going to head into a period that is significantly worse than we have seen. We need to reflect on the missed opportunity and the behaviours - and what situation we could face after Christmas.
Cllr Nunn said, if we are blunt, the second lockdown was not a marvellous solution. It doesn’t make it a mistake - if we hadn’t where would be now? There are people who have not suffered but would have done if we hadn’t have had lockdown. It’s a shame it hasn’t had more of an impact but we are where we are.
Ms Doyle said there were 11 Covid intensive care patients - we would hope that this was going to stay constant and there were plans in place should there be a need to secure further beds and get help from other facilities. It is busy but we would have to go some before all of those options are exhausted.
Jack Duggan from the Chron asked Eileen Doyle about the capacity of beds in NGH and KGH - and to Lucy about the missed opportunity of the second lockdown. What could have been done differently?
Katy Brown, from NCC adult social care, said they were aiming to get to as many care homes as possible and it is a fast moving programme and that will progress. It has been very successful so far.
Carly also asked about the rollout of the vaccine to care homes.
Cllr Nunn said we don’t know what is happening and I don’t have any prior knowledge - we need to be ready to expect there is a strong possibility of moving to tier three in Northampton and that would be a rotten, rotten shame. We have to be so careful to be seen to be doing everything. We hope that where we are seen to be doing everything we can to keep on top of the virus, this will be recognised and will influence the decision. To go in to tier three would be awful but I fear it is a very real possibility. We would anticipate that there would be some advance notice.
Carly then asked about the tier review next week. Are there any views on whether we will be moving or staying the same - the rate in Northampton is higher than areas of London.
No details on the numbers invited by about 90 of those over 80s have been given the vaccine. People seem very keen to get the vaccine - the uptake is going to be high. If there worries, it is around the speed of the vaccine - all of the regulators have gone through exactly the same process but it has been done more rapidly. On our current figures, the uptake is very encouraging.