Derbyshire health chief’s important message to public as new wave of coronavirus hits Europe

Derbyshire’s director of public health has urged people ‘not to be complacent’ – as a third wave of coronavirus sweeps Europe.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 9:36 am

Dean Wallace spoke after Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned the new wave could ‘wash up on our shores’.

Mr Wallace said: “Although numbers of infections are going down across the country, we’re urging people not to be complacent.

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Dean Wallace, Derbyshire's director of public health.
Dean Wallace, Derbyshire's director of public health.

“With the new more transmissible variant, we know it doesn’t take much to start an outbreak – and with many parts of Europe experiencing another wave we really cannot be too careful.

“With the vaccination roll-out, rates dropping and the warmer weather coming, we are heading into better days, but as the vaccination programme has not started to reach the age groups that are most likely to spread the virus it is really important we remain vigilant and follow the rules and guidance – otherwise the risk of new variants increases which would put everyone’s hard work at risk.

“As more parts of the economy and society in general begin to open up it will become increasingly important to follow the message we all know – hands, face, space – and isolate if you have symptoms, to keep the rates low.

“And as people start to move around more, this increases the chance of the virus coming into communities.

“No community is an unconnected island and the picture can change quickly.

“The other point to bear in mind is that we still haven’t seen the full impact of the schools returning on infection rates so we need to stay cautious.

“Our message to everyone is keep going, we’re nearly there but not yet.

“We mustn’t undo all the hard work we’ve all done to get to this point.”

During a visit to Preston in Lancashire on Monday, Mr Johnson said: “On the continent right now, you can see sadly there is a third wave under way.

“And people in this country should be under no illusions that previous experience has taught us that when a wave hits our friends, I’m afraid it washes up on our shores as well.

“I suspect we will feel those effects in due course – that’s why we're getting on with our vaccination programme as fast as we can.”

A message from Phil Bramley, Derbyshire Times editor

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