‘NOTHING has been confirmed’ – that’s the message from the Mayor of the West Midlands Combined Authority amidst rumours parts of the region could be going into a Tier 3 lockdown.
Mayor Andy Street said: “Whilst coronavirus cases continue to rise across the West Midlands, albeit more slowly than in other parts in the country, our hospitals are now coming under intense pressure.”
Currently the rate of Covid infection in Solihull is 230 cases per 100,000, however Mr Street said: “Admissions are increasing week-on-week, more ITU beds are being occupied, some regular services are having to be cut back, staff are once again under increasing pressure, and most worrying of all more people are dying.
“We are now also starting to see the virus spreading again in the elderly and more vulnerable groups. This is not a sustainable situation, and unless the rate of infection falls then we will have to take further action.
“To be absolutely clear, no decision has yet been made locally nor by central Government in regards to some or all of the West Midlands Combined Authority area moving from Tier Two to Tier Three.
“However as you would expect there are active conversations between local leaders as to what would be needed from a Tier Three support package.
“It is critical we get this support agreed in advance so we could act decisively to protect people’s lives and livelihoods.
“I know many will question why there is talk of Tier Three despite our current rate of infection being lower than those in other parts of the country when they entered the highest tier of restrictions.
“But if our cases continue to rise we must protect our hospitals, and by acting before our cases reach the levels seen elsewhere we have a better chance of the restrictions working.
“Finally I want to stress again that nothing is confirmed, but it is clear the situation is becoming very serious and if further measures are to be avoided we must bring the rate of infection down. Everyone has a part to play in that.”