Public Health England has identified cases of a new Covid-19 variant (E484K) across the Liverpool City Region.
In response, Cllr Rob Polhill and the other Liverpool City Region Leaders have issued the following statement:
“Any change in the virus is a serious issue for us all and we are of course concerned to hear of the mutation that has been identified in the region.
“Our Directors of Public Health are working closely with Public Health England to understand and respond appropriately.
“While we continue to be vigilant and respond in line with scientific advice, we are continuing to make real progress in the fight against Covid – rates are falling across the city region, while the number of people being vaccinated is rising every day.
“Every person who gets vaccinated moves us one step closer to a return to some kind of normality and we owe our NHS and key workers who do incredible work battling this virus on a daily basis, a huge debt of gratitude.
“The most important thing we can all do right now to support them and keep our family and friends safe, is to continue to stick closely to the rules.
“If it is essential that you must go out, it is vital to make space between you and others, wear a face covering and wash your hands regularly. If you are a key worker or carer – or if requested to do so locally – get a Covid test.
“Please stay home if at all possible, protect the NHS and save lives.”
Director of Public Health for Halton, Eileen O’Meara has added the following message:
“Understandably, people will be concerned to hear that this mutation has been identified in our area. However, I want to reassure you that we are working very closely with Public Health England as they continue their investigations and will respond appropriately.
“By staying at home during this lockdown we have seen infection levels in Halton reduce significantly and I want to thank everyone for their tremendous efforts. It is important that we keep going and stick closely to the rules, so that we continue to keep each other safe.
“For everyone, that means ensuring you wash your hands regularly, keep a distance between you and people outside of your household and wear a face covering when required to.
“I also want to remind those who do still need to go to work or care for someone, to get a regular no-symptoms test at our sites at Grangeway Community Centre or Ditton Community Centre. People with Covid symptoms must self isolate and only leave home to get a test.
“Doing all of these things remains our very best defence against the virus.”