‘Sizeable increase’ in Leicester coronavirus cases

Coronavirus: 'Outbreak' reports in Leicester and Cleckheaton

People queuing at shops in Leicester
Image caption Leicester City Council's director of public health said lockdown rules had been relaxed but there was still a risk of infection

Leicester has seen a "sizeable increase" in coronavirus infections.

About 25% of the 2,494 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the city were reported in the last two weeks, according to the latest official figures.

At the government's daily briefing, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there had been an "outbreak" in the city.

A number of confirmed cases in Yorkshire have reportedly been linked to a meat processing plant .

Leicester City Council's public health director said the numbers were "relatively small" but of concern.

Ivan Browne said the city had high levels of health conditions such as diabetes, "pockets of deprivation, and a very significant Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic population".

"We know that these factors combine to create a high-risk, more vulnerable population that's more susceptible to coronavirus," he said.

Despite the relaxing of lockdown rules, Mr Browne warned that the country was still in the grip of a pandemic.

At the Downing Street briefing, Mr Hancock said there was an "outbreak right now in parts of Leicester" and that officials were working hard to track those affected.

He also mentioned a further clutch of cases in Kirklees, West Yorkshire.

Huddersfield Labour MP Barry Sheerman said the cases were apparently associated with a meat processing plant in Cleckheaton.

Image Copyright @BarrySheerman @BarrySheerman Report
Twitter post by @BarrySheerman: Surprised to learn of a serious outbreak of Coronavirus cases in Kirklees from No10 briefing apparently associated with meat processing plant in Cleckheaton! Image Copyright @BarrySheerman @BarrySheerman Report

In a tweet, Kirklees Council's public health director Rachel Spencer-Henshall said there had been a number of positive cases of Covid-19 at a workplace in the area.

The authority had provided support to managers and employees to minimise further transmission, she said, and had offered testing to staff.

Mr Hancock praised local authorities and public health officials for doing a "magnificent job".

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