Basildon Council Leader Gavin Callaghan has joined with other Council Leaders and MPs across Essex to ask that the Government move the county into Tier 2 'High level' Covid restrictions as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

Basildon now has the highest number of new cases in the county, with cases on the increase right across Essex.

The County's Director of Public Health and Wellbeing, Dr Mike Gogarty has advised cases will continue to accelerate unless urgent action is taken and a move to 'High' from the current 'Medium' level is made sooner rather than later.

The rate of growth is now exponential and cases doubling every one to two weeks.  Without action now, the restrictions that Essex residents would have to face would be even more severe, last longer and do more damage to the Essex economy.

Councillor Callaghan said: "The advice from the Director of Public Health is clear: do nothing and in four to five weeks' time, 75% of intensive care beds in Essex would be filled with Covid patients.

"We cannot risk anyone who falls ill, not having access to an ICU bed, treatment or ventilator.

"So we need to act now to protect our brilliant NHS and help them save lives.

"I understand this will hit many people hard and I don't make the call lightly, but I believe action now will help prevent a worse situation in the coming weeks and help reduce cases sooner.

"I also call on the Government to make sure those affected are properly supported.

"The people of Basildon responded fantastically during the national lockdown and I know they will respond again and we will all play our part to protect our NHS, support one another and save lives."

Leaders from across the Essex County Council area, along with the county's MPs and Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, are supportive of the proposal which will go to the secretary of State today (Tuesday 13 October)

ENDS

Published on Tuesday 13 October 2020