A second lockdown for England was announced on 31st October by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to last from Thursday 5th November until Wednesday 2nd December. This came as a welcome relief to the Chief Medical Officer of University Hospital Southampton, Dr Derek Sandeman. He termed this lockdown a ‘lifeline‘ for the city, as the region and, therefore, the hospital were getting close to breaking point.
Data collected up until 4th November, confirmed there were 442 cases of COVID-19 in Southampton, an increase of 52 when compared to the previous week’s numbers. The hospital warned about the increase in cases, stating the rate of spread of infection in the area was only weeks away from seeing similar rates to parts of Northern England. Since the report, the R-numbers of the south have passed those of the northern parts of the country.
Dr Sandeman has welcomed the four week lockdown restrictions and wants the public to follow the guidelines so as to not only press pause on the rates of infection in Southampton, but to also potentially ‘gain back control of Covid‘. He explains further: Whilst we’ve seen rates of infection rising rapidly, we have managed to remain relatively low in real-terms and a four week lockdown where we all play our part, should enable us to half our infection rate.’ But he adds that this will only happen if the public heed the warnings and follow the guidelines and lockdown restrictions: ‘It is only us all as individuals who can change the course.
Dr Sandeman concluded by stating:
My hope is that with better knowledge, people will be better armed to make the right choices to protect themselves and others. If we can get through winter there’s a strong chance of a vaccine in Spring and with that we will be able to put the pandemic behind us. The task now is simply to control it and to keep our communities as safe and accessible as possible in the run up to the festive season.