Great Britain

UK coronavirus live: Boris Johnson insists test-and-trace system is 'world beating' despite fall in contacts reached

Nine Conservative MPs in Greater Manchester have written a letter to the health secretary demanding “a more sophisticated approach” to local lockdowns, criticising the government’s “crude and ineffective strategy”.

The whole region of 2.8 million people was put back into partial lockdown last Thursday after infections started to rise. The decision prompted unhappiness in some areas of Greater Manchester where rates remained low, for example in Wigan and Bury.

The mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, has rejected the idea of releasing some of the ten boroughs before others. But the Tory MPs reject this “one size fits all” approach, which they say “risks spreading resources too thinly across the whole conurbation, including in areas with few or no cases”.

They say Burnham fails to understand local infection patterns in seeking to “impose a crude and ineffective strategy across the whole area”.

They say:

Measures must be taken on a borough by borough basis and on a town by town basis in boroughs where there are only one or two Coronavirus ‘hotspots’, but the rates in other parts of the borough are low ...

Failing to properly target resources, meaning inadequate measures in some places where the problems are greatest, and wasting resources where none are currently needed risks a wider outbreak across Greater Manchester, will only lead to more stringent ‘full lockdown’ measures being imposed as in Leicester. We must strive to avoid this at all costs.


The latter is signed by
James Grundy (Leigh)
Sir Graham Brady (Altrincham and Sale West)
James Daly (Bury North)
Christian Wakeford (Bury South)
Chris Clarkson (Heywood and Middleton)
Chris Green (Bolton West and Atherton)
Mark Logan (Bolton North East)
Mary Robinson (Cheadle)
William Wragg (Hazel Grove)

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