Sunderland public health chief calls for action 'now' to tackle rocketing Covid rates

Sunderland’s public health chief has called for urgent action to tackle covid infection rates as cases rocket across the city.

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 4:55 am

Sunderland City Council’s director of Public Health, Gerry Taylor, said the time to act was ‘now’ as case rates hit 439.8 per 100,000, people compared to just 276.8 on September 16.

The health chief urged people to consider working from home and flagged up pressures on the NHS.

“Cases in Sunderland are high, continuing to rise and our NHS is under severe pressure. It’s therefore vital we act now to reduce spread and prevent our NHS becoming overstretched to the point it can’t cope,” she said.

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Gerry Taylor has called for urgent action to tackle covid cases.

“We continue to see very high rates of cases in younger people and all ages groups are affected. The most important thing we can do is take up all recommended doses of the vaccine at the earliest opportunity.

"We know simple things like wearing a face covering, meeting outdoors if you can, and opening a window if you’re meeting indoors can make a real difference.

"Test yourself regularly. It also makes sense to think about working from home, if that’s an option for you, to reduce your contacts.

“I would encourage everyone to do these things now to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities.”

Sunderland 's Director of Public Health, Gerry Taylor, has called for action to be taken "now" to help control the spread of Covid.

The call for action comes after the British Medical Association accused the Government of being ‘wilfully negligent’ for not reimposing rules such as mandatory face masks.

The Labour Party also called for the implementation of the winter ‘Plan B’, which would see masks become mandatory in certain public settings, Covid passports introduced for social activities and a return to a work-from-home directive.

The Government responded by saying it was focusing on its plan to ramp up the vaccine booster programme and widening the availability of jabs to secondary school pupils.

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The reintroduction of mandatory face masks in certain public settings is part of the Government's Winter Plan B. Photo by NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA

Government ministers have repeated the stance case rates, hospitalisations and deaths are not yet at the level where the introduction of Plan B is necessary.

During a Covid briefing on October 20, Health Secretary Sajid Javid acknowledged there was significant pressure on the NHS, but emphasised it was “not yet unsustainable".

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