Coronavirus: Portsmouth City Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson is calling for a 2-week circuit breaker after city's Covid-19 cases hit more than 200 in a week

THE CITY’S council leader is calling for a national two-week circuit breaker after the rate of cases doubled in a week.

By Millie Salkeld
Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 7:29 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 7:48 pm

Portsmouth has seen 202 new Covid-19 cases in the last week with the rate doubling from 43.4 in the seven days to October 3, to 94 in the seven days to October 10.

City council leader, councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson is backing Labour leader’s Keir Starmer’s call for a two-week circuit breaker across the country to curb the rising cases.

He told The News: ‘I think I agree with Keir Starmer that we need to do something to stop this and see if going back to a severe national lockdown for two weeks.

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Council leader Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson has said the government's restrictions do not go far enough in tackling Covid-19. Picture: Sarah Standing (191119-2516)

‘Local lockdowns have not worked. I don’t think we will be put in to Tier 2, in fact I don’t think the government will even notice us.

‘A couple months ago the rate we are seeing for the city now would have been a worry but now you have places like Liverpool and Nottingham which are ten times the rate of us.’

The rate in Fareham has gone from 10.3, in the seven days to October 3, to 40.4, in the seven days to October 10 with 47 new cases. Gosport saw 28 new cases last week with the rate jumping from 17.7 to 33.

Havant’s rate increased slightly from 26.1 to 30.9 with 39 new cases.

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One new coronavirus death has been recorded at Portsmouth's QA Hospital

Figures across England show there were 4,146 Covid-19 patients in hospital as of Wednesday, up from 2,944 a week ago, while 468 Covid-19 hospital patients were in ventilation beds, up from 376 a week ago.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan has also backed a two-week breaker.

He told The News: ‘Our city and our country are at a decisive moment in our efforts to tackle coronavirus with the numbers across Britain, and here in Portsmouth, moving in the wrong direction.

‘With government losing control of the virus, losing control of the message and no longer following scientfic advice, the measures it has set out in recent weeks are harming the economy and failing to suppress the virus.

‘That's why another course is needed and why I back calls for a national reset. Labour is calling for a two-week national circuit break that will give us a chance to fix testing, protect the NHS and get control of the virus.’

The Government said that, as of 9am on Wednesday, there had been a further 19,724 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.

It brings the total number of cases in the UK to 654,644 but increased testing has contributed to this rise.

A further 137 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Wednesday, bringing the UK total to 43,155.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt added: ‘If we don’t want to lockdown again or have further restrictions we must stay focused.

‘I know how fed up everyone is. We miss and are worried about our relatives, we want a proper Christmas and many have huge job and money worries.

‘Winter creates greater opportunities for the virus to spread so we have a fight on our hands.

‘We’ve done so well in Portsmouth, let’s keep that going.’

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