BURY AND ROCHDALE
HEALTHY RADIO

Extra support to control spread of Covid-19 variant

Rochdale Borough Council has called for vaccination supplies to be brought forward to help maximise uptake and drive down the increasing rate of coronavirus infection levels.

 

It follows the government announcement that the whole of Greater Manchester has been put into an Enhanced Response Area. Residents are being advised to minimise travel out of the area and take extra care when meeting people outside.

 

The borough is set to receive additional resources around surge testing, tracing and self-isolation. As part of this a request for military support for testing and vaccinations will be being submitted. 

 

Residents are being strongly encouraged to take a covid-19 test this week, even if they are not showing symptoms, to help tackle the increase in infection levels.

 

Testing and vaccinations will – in combination with measures such as washing hands, wearing a face covering, maintaining social distance, and meeting people from other households outdoors where possible – help control the spread of this variant.

 

Tests which are returned positive will be sent for genomic sequencing at specialist laboratories, to understand if the case was produced by the variant of concern, the so called Delta variant which has been a major concern in Bolton recently and is currently driving a sharp rise in infections in Rochdale. This shows if more cases of this variant are present in the area, helping us to control its spread. If someone tests positive, they must self-isolate immediately and pass on details of their contacts to NHS Test and Trace.

 

The latest data for the borough shows the infection rate at 143 cases per 100,000 people, the sixth highest in Greater Manchester. In addition, the rate among over 60s (39 cases per 100,000 people) is in the top 20 nationally.

 

Councillor Daalat Ali, cabinet member for public health, said the government should now ensure vaccination supplies for the borough are prioritised, ensuring more residents can receive this vital protection.

 

He said: “Any additional support is to be welcomed, but these words must be followed up with urgent government action, which helps us deliver on our priorities at a local level and support our proactive work to reduce covid-19 infection rates.

 

“That’s why we need action now, to bring forward vaccination supplies and ensure more people can receive that vital second dose. Our successful surge vaccination effort in May was really well received, but we need to get more vaccine doses into people’s arms as soon as possible. The evidence clearly shows that the vast majority of people in hospital with covid-19 have not been vaccinated

 

“We will have a further surge vaccination weekend very soon, so I am pressing for those supplies to come through from the centre. This will help drive down the covid-19 rate and help protect people’s loved ones, friends and the community. In the meantime, I would urge people to follow the rules and keep following the space, face, hands fresh air guidance.”

 

Around 130,000 residents across the borough have now had their first covid-19 vaccine and a further 80,000 have had two jabs.

 

Andrea Fallon, the council’s director of public health, said: “The response from residents to the vaccination programme has been excellent and we want to continue to support local people by making it as easy as possible to come and get vaccinated. If anyone has missed an appointment they can just drop in to one of our pop up clinics, and if anyone is worried or unsure about their vaccination please do come and talk to one of our Doctors and Nurses at one of our clinics.”

 

She added: “Our work across the health partnership is delivering a vaccine programme to be proud of, we just need that extra support from the centre to help get us over the line, and also for our eligible residents to come forward for their vaccinations. Additional resources are absolutely vital, as we all play our part, to get on top of new variants and help prevent another lockdown.”

 

There are further drop-in clinics, where no appointment is needed, this week at Rochdale Infirmary (Thursday 10 June, 9.30am-2pm, Friday 11 June, 9.30am-noon), Spotland Methodist Church (Thursday 10 June, 1pm-3pm) and Heywood Phoenix Centre (Saturday 12 June, 9am-3pm). 

 

For more information about the local vaccine programme, including dates and times of drop-in clinics, visit www.rochdale.gov.uk/covidvaccine

 

To find out more information and how to get tested visit www.rochdale.gov.uk/FastTesting

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