March 27, 2020 4.15 pm This story is over

Local Democracy Weekly: Longer lockdown needed to see effects on coronavirus

“This is a marathon, not a sprint”

If you’re already getting a bit of cabin fever from the government’s coronavirus lockdown, you might be disappointed to hear health bosses in Lincolnshire say there’s still more to come.

At time of publication, there are 43 cases of COVID-19 across Greater Lincolnshire – 32 in Lincolnshire, 6 in North Lincolnshire and 5 in North East Lincolnshire.

However, Tony McGinty, Consultant in Public Health at Lincolnshire County Council, told The Lincolnite that more than 100 people are awaiting coronavirus test results at the moment.

He said it was “too early to tell” if the lockdown works on both a local and UK level with chief medical officers thinking it would be at least a week before the measures take effect.

“This is a marathon, not a sprint,” he said, calling on people to abide by the rules “for a significant period of time.”

He said that often, during a large outbreak, the first wave affects a lot of people but then you get a second wave, often affecting smaller numbers – as long as precautions were in place.

There is also still an amount of uncertainty around the virus.

Professor Derek Ward, director of public health, told BBC Radio Lincolnshire that although there’s evidence of people getting immunity, it was still unclear how long this would last and how the virus would mutate.

He said that even once the pandemic is over, it will remain among the public – potentially requiring new shots similar to those used to tackle the flu.

But there are good things on the horizon – although tests at the moment are taking place in high risk areas such as care homes and hospitals, there are works taking place to create self-testing kits.

The longer the pandemic goes on, the more is being done. Government releasing cash after cash, while scientists report work on a vaccine.

But with the lockdown not being reviewed until Easter Monday, there’s definitely a while to go yet, it seems. – DANIEL JAINES


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