South Holland and Deepings MP Sir John Hayes said the Government had to act quickly in calling lockdown 3
MP Sir John Hayes says that the Government had to act quickly in calling a national lockdown.
South Holland, like the rest of the UK, was placed into the third national lockdown
following an announcement on Monday by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Following days of telling parents that school was the right place for children, Mr Johnson closed the schools and urged people to stay at home for seven weeks due to rising case numbers.
Some 280 positive cases were recorded in South Holland between December 30 and January 5 with the rate 266.3 per 100,000. Five deaths were recorded in that period.
Sir John said: “To be honest, it would be really tough for any Government. The virus doesn’t behave predictably and when we heard there was a new strain which is more contagious that inevitably required reevaluation.
“When you are dealing with highly dynamic circumstances with an unprecedented virus you have to be able to act quickly and if the Government was not responsive it would be criticised.
“While it is true that it changed tack, that change had been responding to changing circumstances.”
Sir John said that the Government had been trying to balance the protection of the public with the maintenance ofpeople’s wellbeing along with looking after the economy.
He said: “Trying to protect wellbeing is critical as is jobs and business and it is not just about national perspective but also people’s futures.
“Trying to keep education going so people can achieve their progression in life. These are incredible things to balance and the Government is trying to strike that balance in changing circumstances.
“I think most of the public recognise that no-one could do this job perfectly. You just have to make the best of what you can do in an incredibly difficult situation.”
Sir John says he hopes to return to a tiered system once the latest lockdown is lifted but has called on people to follow the rules.
He said: “I know how frustrating it is and how challenging it is. But there is light at the end of the tunnel but it is not a short tunnel. It is going to be a journey to travel until we come out of the other side.”
Public health bosses say there could be a wide range of reasons why infection rates change.
Tony McGinty, assistant director of public health, said: “Numbers for infection rates are volatile, even more so in the small populations they are calculated at in district council areas.
“There would be a wide range of reasons why rates go up and down in a given area, from outbreaks in specific settings to events where people break the distancing rules, through to whether the right level of restriction is in place for the amount of virus circulating in a given community (and how that community interacts with others with different infection rates).
“Some groups are more exposed to COVID-19, for example essential workers including food workers, and these are not evenly distributed in the population and have an effect on how the numbers change over time.”