New Lockdown in Leicester

The re-imposed lockdown restrictions in Leicester city have called forth the usual defeatist   no-can-do arguments from so-called “experts”.  In an academic paper the latest expert is quoted by the Daily Telegraph on 30th June as warning that “inequality inherent in the virus could prompt unrest under local lockdowns” and “geographical division of a large urban area in the UK will inevitably intersect with ethnic (sic) and socio-economic boundaries.  This could lead to perceptions of inequality and stigmatisation of particular ethnic groups.”  Similar sentiments were expressed in a recent SAGE paper apparently.

So the “experts” seem to be saying that rather than run the risk of “perceptions of inequality”, they would prefer to do nothing, letting the Coronavirus run riot, or locking down the whole country again to avoid taxing the supposed tender sensibilities of ethnic minorities.

I would bet the good people of Leicester, of whatever ethnic background, would prefer to be rid of the virus threat as soon as possible, restrictions on individuals moving about together being far and away the most effective way of doing this.

Newly identified positive cases in Leicester, in the two weeks to June 23rd, have reached 866 out of 2,987, or 29% of total tests performed there.  This compares with results elsewhere in the country of 5-14% positives from a combination of random and directed testing.  Another comparison is with Leicester’s own 758 total of cases in the 10 weeks of the pandemic up to the beginning of June, giving an age-standardised rate of 213 per 100,000 people.  This compares quite favourably with other Midlands cities such as Stoke on Trent (240), Nottingham (172), Coventry and Derby (each 203).

The significantly greater risk to catching Covid-19 among some (not all) ethnic minorities is well-established, along with the well-known fact that some (not all) Asian groups live in houses with three generations squashed together, some of whom may not understand English very well.  The remedy lies in everyone’s hands: don’t cluster, wash hands, wear masks outside the home.

Maybe the example of Leicester will encourage other people living in large cities about to be released from lockdown on July 4th, to continue nonetheless to observe the above rules.

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