Ebene News – GB – Live updates: regional press conference on Tier 4, schools and hospitals

Mayor Andy Street is hosting a special press briefing this morning – we’ll bring you live updates

Level 4 restrictions, hospital crisis, confused school leaders and vaccine rapture – it’s been a 24 hour roller coaster in the unfolding drama of the coronavirus pandemic

As an unprecedented year draws to a close, we’ve brought you sobering news from the city’s hospitals and fears of a continued rise in community infections, triggering additional restrictions for the West Midlands

Here are all the new restrictions currently in place in Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country

The news sparked new calls for urgent support for businesses and desperate workers in the face of the devastating impact on their jobs and livelihoods

But this news came the day the Oxford vaccine launch was given the go-ahead, which gave hope that it could all be over soon

He will be joined by Public Health England Deputy Director Dr Lola Abudu, Birmingham City Council Chief Cllr Ian Ward, Clive Wright, COVID 19 West Midlands (Contain) Regional Manager, Professor David Loughton CBE, Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, and Waheed Saleem, Deputy Commissioner of Police and Crime for the West Midlands

We’ll bring you live updates and top stories from there and nationally throughout the day – follow the updates below

Cllr Ian Ward once again criticized the government for planning to return schools next week

“The secondary schools were told the day before their separation to make arrangements to test five million students during the week they return, which clearly would never be possible

“Less than a fortnight ago Gavin Williamson (the education secretary) threatened to sue schools (in Greenwich) for adopting e-learning for security reasons – and we have now this advice to return our schools by a phased return, announced yesterday

“I agree with the head of the National Association of Principals who said this was another last minute mess that could have been avoided if the government had listened to the school leaders before the holidays “

I asked the question of whether we are, or should be, in national lockdown – especially with the ongoing vaccine deployments and the end so near

Birmingham City Council Chief Cllr Ian Ward: “It is evident that over the past ten months the government has reacted late in the day

“There is a lesson for government – look elsewhere in Europe and it is clear that the earlier decisions are made, the less time restrictions are in place and the less damage to economies It is high time that the government begins to listen “

Mayor Andy Street: “It would have been better if we had upgraded to level 4 soon after Christmas, and we have essentially the same restrictions as in the second nationwide lockout This is what is here now

“There is a real prospect that if we observe these restrictions (and I expect these areas from level 3 to move to level 4), we can get out and stay out. There is certainly the prospect that this is a final push

“You can call it a national lockdown by another name, which to be honest I think what we have”

The government’s muddled approach to deciding and communicating changes has been a ‘constant problem’ throughout the pandemic, said Birmingham City Council chief Cllr Ian Ward

The late shift from a five-day Christmas break to a single day was another example – arriving too late for some families, when it was clear days earlier that the new variant of the virus and the ‘increase in community cases made festive gatherings too risky

He said it was a repeated pattern during the reopening of schools in the new year and the testing strategy for students

“We asked the government for urgent clarification on this issue – and it only happened yesterday. Again, a lack of planning has left schools, parents and students confused and without any specifics on the how testing in schools will be implemented safely

“We ask the government to communicate in a timely manner so that we can support the schools”

Case rates for all age groups in Birmingham except those under 19 have increased as Christmas approaches – but the largest proportion of cases in the city are in the Asian community from Birmingham

About 44% of all cases recorded the week before Christmas were in Asian residents, said Cllr Ian Ward

Hospitals are under pressure in the West Midlands – but there are no plans to reopen the NEC Nightingale yet

The official line remains the same: “The NEC Nightingale Hospital remains on standby, ready to be quickly operational within 72 hours to provide additional capacity to support local services if needed”

But the lack of staff is seen as the reason why this is not yet considered a viable option

We reported yesterday how Birmingham University Hospitals NHS Trust had to borrow staff from the nearby Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Trust to open an additional ward at Good Hope Hospital

Teachers are frustrated with being on the front line but not on a priority list for vaccines – I asked if this was the right approach?

Dr Lola Abudu referred to the national priority list for prioritizing vaccinations using Pfizer vaccine – which lists groups in order of risk

David Loughton, managing director of Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals, said it was vital for the NHS that schools remain open – in part to support the work of key workers He said he had had discussions with the region’s public health director and would ‘lobby’ for teacher protection

Waheed Saleem, deputy commissioner of police and crime, said police would be in force tonight to monitor illegal gatherings

He says 1,165 staggering departure instructions – most masks – were issued by officers in a single day yesterday This is the lowest sanction available to officers and designed to warn people to be behave differently

Cllr Ian Ward, Labor leader of Birmingham City Council, lets the government slip over the approach to the delay in levels, advice on Christmas rallies and the lack of clarity regarding tests in schools and the staggered return to schools

I will bring you his full comments shortly, but suffice it to say that he is unhappy with the government’s slow response to concerns and for failing to notify local authorities like his, schools and local authorities. companies during dramatic changes and announcements

The NHS is well and truly in the eye of the storm, says Professor David Loughton, head of the Royal Hospitals in Wolverhampton

We don’t see the numbers they are in London, but we have to try to maintain all of the vital cancer, heart, surgery and outpatient work while trying to stay on top of the coronavirus

I have seen the worst ambulance turnaround times outside of my own hospitals that I have ever seen in the past two weeks

Our normal winter surge plan includes patients nursing in hallways to free ambulances and hit the road to answer 999 calls This is not possible during this covid crisis, he says

We cannot do this this year because it is dangerous to do it because we cannot know who is positive and who is not – it adds to the pressures

He warned that we must act now to prevent the increase in admissions “This is a very difficult situation”

He said he was waiting for numbers later today to show the impact of the Christmas rallies, but hoped everyone would do what you can to protect the NHS and save lives “

Clive Wright, Department of Health and Welfare, presents data on the region’s infection rates – the table above shows the overall rate in each local authority area in the first column, with the infection rate for over 60 years in column two These figures are for the week before Christmas

Have fun with your friends with Zoom, stay home, stay safe – don’t let your hair down just yet

Sober New Years Message from Dr Abudu: “Don’t party – wait a few more months”

Dr Lola Abudu of Public Health England opens the briefing by confirming that the new Oxford vaccine rollout “will start from Monday”

She applauds the incredible efforts made to get two vaccines approved in such a short period of time – which gives hope for the immediate future

Birmingham Tier 4

Ebene News – GB – Live updates: regional press conference on Tier 4, schools and hospitals

Source: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/black-country/live-updates-regional-tier-4-19543234