COVID-19: Liverpool coronavirus deniers branded 'village idiots' by councillor

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One of the architects of Liverpool's mass COVID-19 testing programme has dismissed protesters who marched through the city as "village idiots".

The demonstration, which happened on Saturday, saw 27 people arrested after they gathered to complain about lockdown restrictions and the mass-testing programme in Liverpool.

Councillor Paul Brant, who is overseeing the testing pilot project for the city council, said the "noisy minority" should be ignored.

He said: "Every village has a village idiot, and we are a big city so we have more than one and most of them were gathered in the city centre.

"The reality is that they are representative of nobody but themselves. My mother always said that empty vessels make the most noise."

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Merseyside Police made 27 arrests at the anti-lockdown march and described the participants as "selfish, ignorant and irresponsible".

Mr Brant added that falling infection rates in the city were evidence that the restrictions and mass testing were starting to work.

Having peaked at over 600 cases per 100,000 people last month, health officials say the numbers have roughly halved.

However, the city's hospitals are still very busy dealing with COVID-19 patients.

The testing pilot scheme, which is unique in western Europe, is into its second week and has so far recorded over 110,000 tests.

A total of 527 people asymptomatic people have been identified and subsequently asked to self-isolate.

City leaders are in discussions to expand the length of the pilot scheme in Liverpool, but some scientists have voiced concerns about whether it is an effective and reliable tool to combat the coronavirus.

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