Home WORLD NEWS UK: Lockdown reimposed in Leicester; shops selling non-essential items, schools closed again

UK: Lockdown reimposed in Leicester; shops selling non-essential items, schools closed again


In the East Midlands area of England, Leicester has become the first British city to be pushed back into lockdown due to an increase in the coronavirus cases. Shops selling non-essential items that opened on June 15 will now be shut from Tuesday. Schools that reopened on June 1 for some classes will be closed from Thursday.

While pubs, restaurants, leisure centers, cinemas, places of worship will open on July 4 in England, Leicester will remain closed. It has been advised to not travel outside the city unless absolutely essential.

Terming it a decision based on clinical advice, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, in the House of Commons, said, “We recommend to people in Leicester, stay at home as much as you can, and we recommend against all but essential travel to and from and within Leicester.”

He added that Leicester accounted for 10 per cent of all positive cases in the country over the past week. He said, “Lockdown will be reviewed in two weeks and we will not keep them in place any longer than is necessary.”

Mayor of Leicester Sir Peter Soulsby called the decision “disappointing” but later accepted the fact that there are challenges, he said, “The sooner we get them sorted, the sooner we can get on with unlocking in the way the rest of the country is.”




The rise in the cases has been in the younger population in Leicester who might be asymptomatic but can transmit the virus to the elderly. Predominant population of Indian and Pakistani origin, people live in a joint family and thus the transmission of the virus has been rapid.

Public Health England’s investigation revealed that apart from the prevalence of co-morbidities as one of the contributory factors, inequality of socio-economic structures has been a big reason too.

Taking to India Today TV, chair of British Medical Association, Dr Chand Nagpaul spoke about the importance of “equal opportunity for all” but at the same time, stressed upon the need for culture-specific messaging, “public health messaging is very important for people to know how to look after themselves; how to protect themselves and how to become healthier that messaging wasn’t culturally sensitive in terms of language but also in terms of the actual message itself.”

He added, “The government could not quite understand the environment that Asians live in. A large part of Asians did not have the choice to work from home because of the nature of their job meant that they had to work throughout the lockdown.”




“They were providing essential services. In the future, much more needs to be done in connecting to community groups so the messaging can be transmitted in much more understandable fashion This is what BMS is pushing for,” Nagpaul said.

East of Leicester, where the surge of the coronavirus is worse, comprises of a large number of people from BAME background. City councilor Ratilal Govind believed messaging in English did not work for them.

Combined with is the factor of co-morbidities amongst the BAME community.

Ivan Browne, director of public health Leicester, said, “Leicester has high levels of health conditions such as diabetes, pockets of deprivation, and a very significant Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic population – and we know that these factors combine to create a high-risk, more vulnerable, population that’s more susceptible to coronavirus.”

As of now, 350,000 people of Leicester would need to live with the extended lockdown amidst fears that inter-city travel in the region ran the risk of defeating the purpose of this lockdown. Health Secretary though has warned that only essential travel should be undertaken. The situation will be reviewed in two weeks.

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