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NHS boss wants tighter lockdown and school closures to stop coronavirus spread

An NHS boss has called for tighter lockdown restrictions and school closures in England's coronavirus black spot, as he believes it is necessary to prevent the rapid growth of cases.

Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust's Chief Executive, Chris Long, has said that stricter measures are needed.

Currently, Hull is England's worst-affected area, last week recording a whopping 743 cases per 100,000 people.

This works out at nearly 2,000 new cases of the deadly virus being reported in a single week, which saw the northern City take the top spot as England's COVID-19 hotspot, taking over from Oldham.

Mr Long told Sky News: "We are at the next point in our surge plan so we are redeploying staff from other departments.

"There are still people out there who think COVID is some sort of massive hoax or that it's just flu.

"It's definitely not a hoax and the number of deaths we are experiencing is evidence of that.

"We need to be looking quite seriously at much stiffer lockdown restrictions than we have got.

"We are seeing very high transmission rates around us and that's because, despite the lockdown, a lot of people are just going about their normal lives."

When asked about action to close schools for a short period to try and reduce transmission, the NHS boss said: "I'm afraid it would have to, and in other parts of the country.

"The actions that we take now are the ones that will prevent the spread and this means more restrictions."

  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson self-isolating after contact with person with coronavirus

In the weekly run-up to November 9, Hull reported a total of 1,931 new cases of COVID-19, which was a stark jump from the week before's figures, increasing by 520.

Public Health England has recently revealed new data, showing that infection rates have increased in a whopping 218 out of 315 council areas.

Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire are part of a pilot national rollout of 500,000 rapid lateral flow coronavirus tests.

They're hoping that these results will be delivered in an hour and won't need to be processed in a laboratory.

This differs from the swab coronavirus tests where results are usually delivered between 24 and 36 hours.

Boris Johnson has vowed to keep classes open during the second national lockdown, despite pleas from health officials and those in the education sector.

The PM told the nation in a live TV address: "School is the best place for children to be.

"We cannot let the virus damage our children's futures more than it already has."

However, Sir Jeremy Farrar of Sage has said that schools should close if infection rates continue to soar, despite Boris Johnson saying they will stay open during the shutdown.

He said: "Because we have delayed the onset of this lockdown, it does make keeping schools (open) harder.

"If the transmission in secondary schools continues to rise that may have to be revisited in the next four weeks."

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