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Lancs health expert’s infection warning as alert level downgraded

Written by on June 19, 2020

Lancashire’s health boss has warned people not to become complacent after the Government lowered the UK’s alert level to coronavirus from 4 to 3.

The message comes as Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, which runs Preston and Chorley hospitals, records the highest number of deaths in any NHS trust this afternoon (June 19).

This morning, the Government announced that the nationwide alert level would be lowered from 4 to 3 following “steady” and continuing decrease in cases in all four nations.

Level four means that transmission is ‘high and or rising exponentially’. Level three is when the epidemic is in general circulation and gradual easing of restrictions can take place, while level two is when the number of cases and transmission is low and “no or minimal” restrictions are required.

However despite the positive national picture, Dr Sakthi, director of public health for Lancashire, has warned that the county is not out of the woods as the infection rate remains ‘high’.

In a statement to LancsLive, he said: “It is encouraging to see the national alert level being dropped from 4 to 3. Under level 3, the virus is considered to be in general circulation.

“The infection rate is still high in Lancashire, compared to other parts of the country, so it’s important that we don’t jump too quickly into reducing the social distancing of two metres.

“Although more shops and businesses are re-opening, things are still a long way from being normal.

“More distance between people reduces the risk of spreading Coronavirus. It’s still just as important to wash your hands thoroughly, avoid close contact with other people, and wear a mask if you are on public transport or can’t social distance.”

Seven more coronavirus deaths were recorded across Lancashire hospital trusts, according to today’s NHS figures (June 19).

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, which manages Preston and Chorley hospitals, recorded the most new deaths of any NHS trust in England.

Five patients died from Covid-19, including four on June 14 and one on June 13.

It brings their death toll to 235.

Blackpool teaching Hospitals recorded two more deaths. One patient died on June 4 and one on June 8.

No deaths were recorded University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, East Lancashire Hospitals and Ormskirk Hospitals.

It brings the Lancashire hospitals death toll to 966.

The figures which are released each day often include previously uncounted deaths that took place several days or even weeks ago.

This is because of the time it takes for deaths to be confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19, for post-mortem examinations to be processed, and for data from the tests to be validated.