As COVID-19 rates in Knowsley start to show a slight reduction, Council Leader Graham Morgan is urging residents not to relax too soon as this crisis is not over yet.
Early last week, Knowsley’s rates of COVID-19 were the highest in the whole of the UK and the Borough was seeing the highest levels of transmission of the virus since the start of the pandemic. However, towards the end of the week, the figures stabilised and early indications are that virus levels have started to decline – but much more slowly than they had increased, which means that the peak impact on local hospitals will not pass for some while yet.
Councillor Morgan said:
“We all want to see the levels of the virus start to reduce, but we really can’t take these early signs of improvement as an indication that this latest crisis is over. We still have alarmingly high rates of COVID-19 and the virus present in all age groups of society, particularly including the over 60s population – who we know are most at risk.
“After Christmas, we saw really high rates in our 17-24 year old age group and we said at the time that the big concern was that they would inevitably pass this virus on to others – some of whom are much more at risk of serious illness and hospitalisation. Sadly, that is indeed what we are seeing now and that’s why we still have some major issues to face.”
“Hospital data for Merseyside at the end of last week showed that a further 178 people were admitted to hospital for COVID-19 in the last week alone. Just two weeks earlier, the comparison figure was just 43. Whiston Hospital has confirmed that it is treating more patients with COVID-19 now than at any point in the pandemic and is “extremely concerned” by the rate of new admissions.
Councillor Morgan added:
“Back in October, we hit the national headlines when our rates were 720 per 100,000 and they are about double that now. Put simply, this means that the virus is very widespread within the local community and, with the new variant of the virus, your chances of catching COVID-19 are higher than ever before.
“We need people to keep following the rules. Stay at home, limit your social contact, and protect yourself and your loved ones. That way, we can hope to see further reductions in our rates, fewer people becoming ill, and our hospitals getting through what we know will be a difficult few weeks ahead.”