Matt Hancock says more than 100 local coronavirus outbreaks tackled each week after 73 cases confirmed at Herefordshire farm

Luke O'Reilly
·2-min read
A deserted Leicester city centre, as the city remains in local lockdown: PA
A deserted Leicester city centre, as the city remains in local lockdown: PA

More than 100 local Covid-19 outbreaks are being "dealt with" in the UK each week, according to the Health Secretary.

Matt Hancock revealed local authorities are reacting “swiftly and silently” to many outbreaks that "don't make the news".

Mr Hancock added that increased testing means officials can take a more targeted approach rather than imposing national measures.

His comments come after 73 cases of the virus were confirmed at a farm in Herefordshire, leading to around 200 workers being quarantined as a precautionary measure.

Meanwhile, Monday marks two weeks since Mr Hancock announced Leicester would be the first city to be put under a local lockdown – restrictions he is expected to review later this week.

Mr Hancock praised local authorities for publishing outbreak plans (PA)
Mr Hancock praised local authorities for publishing outbreak plans (PA)

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Hancock said: “Each week there are more than 100 local actions taken across the country – some of these will make the news, but many more are swiftly and silently dealt with.

“This is thanks in large part to the incredible efforts of local authorities – all of whom have stepped up and published their local outbreak control plans in line with the end of June deadline.”

In an article for the newspaper, he said officials will “hunt down the virus” by targeting areas of concern.

An increased testing capacity means the Government can take “more targeted local action and less national lockdown” to allow the easing of measures for the majority of the country, he said.

Door-to-door testing will be used more widely in future outbreaks (PA)
Door-to-door testing will be used more widely in future outbreaks (PA)

The newspaper reports that door-to-door testing, which was utilised in the worst-hit areas of Leicester, is to be used more widely to curb outbreaks in the coming months.

Portable walk-in centres will also be stationed in areas where there is a flare-up of the virus.

On Sunday, Public Health England (PHE) Midlands and Herefordshire Council said around 200 employees at vegetable producer AS Green and Co were put into lockdown following a Covid-19 outbreak among the workforce.

Some 73 workers tested positive for the virus, leading to the whole group of workers, who live in shared accommodation at Rook Row Farm, to be isolated together as “one extended bubble”.

The council said it is arranging food and essential supplies for residents on the site while they self-isolate.

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