NOTTINGHAM is on the brink of a harsh Tier 3 lockdown as MPs have crucial talks with ministers this morning – but infection rates have fallen by a third.
Despite the fall in the number of cases, major hospitals were forced to postpone surgeries last night and local leaders said last night they were in discussions with the Government over fresh restrictions.
The infection rate in Nottingham has plummeted by a third in one week, in a hopeful sign things could be improving.
The number of cases per 100,000 fell a shocking height of 926.7 cases in the week up to October 11 to 610.1 in the week to October 18.
MPs will discuss with Government ministers the possibility of fresh measures this morning, after a two hour meeting between the Government and the leaders of the Nottingham city council, Nottingham county council, Broxtowe, Rushcliffe and Gedling.
The leaders were shown grim data on the state of the spread of the virus in Nottingham and the surrounding areas.
All of those areas are expected to be thrown into tough Tier 3 restrictions as soon as next week.
They have only bee in Tier 2 measures for a little over a week, despite having the worst infection rate in England a fortnight ago.
Local leaders in Liverpool, Manchester and South Yorkshire all had extensive meetings with ministers and Downing Street aides before they were given the strict new rules.
It comes after NHS Nottingham Universities Trust made the worrying announcement yesterday they were postponing non-urgent surgeries.
Boris Johnson has repeatedly stressed that the ability of local NHS services to cope with all kinds of treatment is one of the crucial tests on whether an area needs further restrictions.
The over-stretch hospital trust said last night: “We have made the difficult decision to postpone some of our non-urgent surgery and appointments until 6 November 2020 following a dramatic increase in the number of patients with Covid-19 in our hospital.”
More than 200 coronavirus patients have been admitted to the hospital over the last few days and every day nearly another full ward of people are being brought in.
At least 16 of the patients are desperately unwell and receiving treatment from critical care staff.
The trust warned: “This surge is now at levels similar to April and is combining with our normal winter emergency pressures.
“Unfortunately this means that we’ve had to make this difficult decision to pause some of the treatment we offer.”
Hospital admissions take a couple of weeks to catch up with the huge jump in infections so the fall in infections over the last 7 days won’t have had a chance to have an impact of strained ICU wards.
Greater Manchester was plunged into Tier 3 today and South Yorkshire will follow from just after midnight tomorrow.