CALLS are being made for residents across the West Midlands to ‘play their part’ in keeping coronavirus rates down amid claims the region is at a ‘tipping point’.
Public Health England (PHE) says hospital and intensive care admissions are rising in the region, and while the recent spread was mostly in the younger generation it is now clear older people are also becoming infected.
In the West Midlands today (Wednesday) there were around 1,100 cases per 100,000 people.
Scientists believe the doubling times for new infections is between eight and 16 days.
PHE deputy regional director Dr Helen Carter said: “We’ve been in the grip of this pandemic for the last six months and we know people are getting tired of all the changes they’re having to make in their daily lives, but we’re now at a tipping point similar to March and we have to act to prevent history repeating itself.
“We’re in this for the long haul, and the more people that ignore the guidance to wear face coverings in enclosed public places, who don’t observe social distancing, don’t wash and sanitise their hands regularly, and don’t observe the local restrictions in place – the worse things will become, the more restrictions will be put in place in the West Midlands, and more people will die across the region.
“As well as an increase in cases and deaths, we’re also seeing rising hospitalisations and admissions to intensive care due to covid.
“In the last month we have seen large increases in younger people getting the virus, particularly in student populations. However, now numbers of cases in people over the age of 60 are rising rapidly in the West Midlands. It is important that everyone thinks ‘hands, face, space’ and sticks to the government guidance for their area. For the most part, young people have mild symptoms, but it’s their parents, aunties, uncles and grandparents who are in danger of becoming seriously ill with this virus. “So, even if you’re not worried for yourself – think of those other people, who are older, have long-term health conditions, and who might not survive covid 19. We can only fight this virus together, please play your part.”