Boris Johnson warning: Lord Blunkett points out major flaw in UK’s coronavirus numbers

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Former Home Secretary Lord Blunkett called for Boris Johnson to discount student numbers when imposing the three-tier lockdown system on the UK. The Labour Party peer stated that taking out the number of student infections in an area will give a much better picture of the true rate of contagion in the area.

Lord Blunkett said: “We need to know what it is that drives you into the different tiers, into tier two and tier three.

“What drivers should we discount? For instance, in Nottinghamshire they have put the whole county into level two but in Mansfield there is only 62 out of 100,000 virus cases.

“In Nottingham city which is about half the size of Sheffield or Liverpool there is over 680 out of 100,000.

“You might logically think that the city is massively affected by the two big universities, Nottingham and Nottingham Trent and they clearly are.

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“Why don’t we use a bit of logic and say take the student numbers out and then you have got a much better picture.”

On Monday, England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty backed further lockdown restrictions as he admitted that the current plan is “not enough”.

Prof Whitty explained that while the three-tier system put in place will help slow the spread of COVID-19, more needs to be done by local authorities.

Speaking from Downing Street, He said: “I am very confident that the measures that are currently in place are working to slow the virus and these measures will help to slow it further.

“I am not confident and nor is anybody confident that the tier three proposals for the highest rates would be enough to get on top of it.

“That is why there’s a lot of flexibility in the tier 3 level for local authorities guided the by the directors of public health, who are absolutely superb, to actually go up that range so they can do significantly more than the absolute base.

“The base will not be sufficient, I think that is very clearly the professional view.

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“But there are quite a lot more additional things that can be done within that with local guidance.”

He added: “The central thing about this is these only work if people buy into them.

“I don’t just mean political leaders, although it’s absolutely essential that they do.

“But also everybody has got to buy into them because that’s how it works. Everybody doing their bit within this.”

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