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Medway's Director of Public Health plays down rumours of area going back in to lockdown

A health boss in Medway has spoken out against rumours that the area could see a spike in cases, after the authority was included on a table in the national press showing areas where coronavirus has increased in the past two weeks.

It comes as Leicester has been placed back in lockdown due to a spike in cases, after the city saw 10% of all positive cases in England over the past week.

Medway director of public health, James Williams says robust measures are in place
Medway director of public health, James Williams says robust measures are in place

But James Williams, Medway's director of public health, said the small increase in Medway shares no similarities to the East Midlands city.

In a statement published today, he said: "There is no comparison to be made between the rates of new cases currently occurring in Medway and areas such as Leicester.

"A local lockdown has been introduced in Leicester because 10% of all positive cases in the country over the past week were recorded in the city.

"The number of positive coronavirus cases in Leicester is three times higher than the next highest city and Medway is much lower than this.

"As of Monday, June 29, the total number of cases in Medway, recorded throughout the pandemic, stood at 809 and the rate did not exceed the expected number of cases for the area.

KMTV reports on the prospect of local lockdowns

"We have seen just 28 new cases in the past two weeks.

"We have a robust process in place linked to NHS test and trace and our local NHS laboratories to support and protect the people of Medway.

"This enables us to identify any specific issues related to a location, organisation or individual.

"The small increase in numbers seen over the last two weeks have been as a result of proactive testing, conducted with identified individuals.

The health boss added: "We have not seen any evidence of any widespread community transmission of Covid-19 in Medway."

"We have not seen any evidence of any widespread community transmission of Covid-19 in Medway..."

Mr Williams said currently there are no plans to introduce a regional lockdown in Medway, but that if the need did arise then they would "not hesitate" to take further steps if it was deemed necessary.

The public health director also announced a Kent and Medway Local Outbreak control plan, which sets out the actions the authorities would take in the event of a surge in cases.

He added: "It is very important that everyone understands the need to work together as a community to stop this disease spreading.

"Whilst we welcome the gradual moves to relax some of the lockdown measures, it is critical that everyone in Medway continues to remain alert and takes action to prevent the spread of the virus to keep themselves and their loved ones safe."

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