I was questioned on BBC Newsnight yesterday about the rising rates of Covid infections in Preston and the impact on local hospitals.
As I mentioned in the interview, India should have been red lighted along with Bangladesh and Pakistan on 9th April but instead it was left open for three weeks which allowed many millions of passengers to travel in between South East Asia and the UK.
I would welcome the proposal to extend the lifting of restrictions on 21st May by four weeks because the infection rate has increased in Preston by 54% in the space of just seven days and it's getting to the point where it's doubling every week. Closing down Preston or Blackburn is not really enough because the travel to work distances are not great and people commute between the two places regularly, and from around Lancashire for work and study, something which is not not covered by the current guidance.
The government are relying on the goodwill of the public, which is now unfortunately wearing very thin by people who have given enough goodwill over the last fifteen months.
Whilst the situation as I see it is manageable at the local hospitals at the moment, a rapid rise in infections will impact on treatment for covid patients and may delay other types of life saving treatment for other patients. I fear that the new Delta variant and possible mutations will start to spread and affect children and young people.