UK could lock down city of Leicester after virus surge

People walk in the sunshine as they visit Camden Market in London on June 28, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 28 June 2020

UK could lock down city of Leicester after virus surge

  • The city recorded 658 new cases in the two weeks up to June 16
  • Reports said the government was set to reimpose strict lockdown rules on Leicester

LONDON: The central English city of Leicester could be the country’s first to face a local lockdown due to a rise in coronavirus cases, the UK’s Home Secretary Priti Patel said Sunday.
The Midlands city recorded 658 new cases in the two weeks up to June 16, many linked to fresh outbreaks at food production plants.
Patel told the BBC that there have been “flare-ups across the country in recent weeks, in just the last three or four weeks in particular.”
“For local outbreaks, it is appropriate to have local solutions in terms of infection control, social distancing, screening and many tools,” she added.
“There will be support going into Leicester.”
Reports in the Sunday Times newspaper said the government was set to reimpose strict lockdown rules on Leicester “within the next few days.”
Leicester’s population stands at around 340,000 people, according to official figures.
The news comes at a worrying time for the UK, a country badly affected by the pandemic.
Boris Johnson’s government is set to ease lockdown restrictions from July 4 — despite fears of a second wave of infections — by opening pubs, restaurants and hairdressers among others across England.
In the last few days, Britain has seen tens of thousands of people ignore social distancing rules to flood the beaches and hold street parties. Liverpool fans also crowded that city after their football club won the Premier League.
Leading medical experts warned earlier this month of the “real risk” of a second coronavirus wave this winter.
“I think nothing would be more damaging for our country, for our economy if we do have a second wave,” Patel said.
More than 43,500 people have died due to the coronavirus in Britain, official figures show.


Armenian president to discuss Nagorno-Karabakh with EU, NATO

Updated 16 min 3 sec ago

Armenian president to discuss Nagorno-Karabakh with EU, NATO

  • The trip follows more than three weeks of fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh
  • Armenia expects NATO and EU leaders to do “everything possible” to stop the fighting and to “bring to life” a cease-fire deal

YEREVAN: Armenian President Armen Sarkissian has left for Brussels to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with NATO and European Union officials, his office said on Wednesday.
During the visit he will meet NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell and European Council President Charles Michel, it said.
Armenia expects NATO and EU leaders to do “everything possible” to stop the fighting and to “bring to life” a cease-fire deal, it said.
The trip follows more than three weeks of fighting over Nagorno-Karabakh, a mountain enclave that is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan but is governed by ethnic Armenians.