East Riding Council’s health chief asks people ‘to carry on doing the basics’ in the fight against Covid

Around one in 20 people in the East Riding are thought to be infected with coronavirus amid a new wave of cases, the council’s public health lead has said.

By Joe Gerrard (Local Democracy Reporting Service)
Friday, 15th July 2022, 11:59 am
East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s public health director Andy Kingdom said the proportion of people infected was now around 4.2 per cent, meaning about 14,500 people have coronavirus at any one time.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s public health director Andy Kingdom said the proportion of people infected was now around 4.2 per cent, meaning about 14,500 people have coronavirus at any one time.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s public health director Andy Kingdom said the proportion of people infected was now around 4.2 per cent, meaning about 14,500 people have coronavirus at any one time.

He added it had seen one East Riding school close due to staff absences which were also putting pressure on health services, with coronavirus tending to infect working age people.

It comes as Government figures showed infections in the East Riding rose by 19.7 per cent, or by 120 cases to 730, in the week up to Friday, July 1.

The rate of infections rose from 177.7 to 212.7 cases per 100,000 people by the same date.

Hull saw the number of new cases recorded rise to 401, up 86 or 27.3 per cent during the same period.

It’s infection rate went up from 121.6 to 154.8.

NHS figures showed there were 110 patients with coronavirus in Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital as of this morning (Wednesday, July 13).

A total of five of those patients were in intensive care.

Mr Kingdom said the data was likely underestimating the true amount of cases, with the proportion of the population infected possibly as high as 5 per cent.

He added the current wave could be followed by more later this year but they would be less severe than those which saw restrictions brought in earlier in the pandemic.

The director said: “If I had seen the level of infections we have now in 2020 or parts of 2021 I’d be incredibly concerned because of the consequences of severe illness and death, but we’re not seeing that.

“We’re still seeing people in hospital, the number of patients in Hull Royal Infirmary for example has gone up from 25 in June to 69 according to the latest figures.

“But we’re not seeing that translate into massive pressure on hospitals which is why lockdowns came in because we were worried the NHS could tip over.

“There’s still about two or three deaths a week at the moment but it’s nothing like the 20 a week we’ve seen previously.

“That’s because the vaccine’s working, about 99 per cent of the older population have some form of immunity already either from jabs or previous infections.

“In children it’s probably about 95 to 96 per cent, so it’s not new to people’s immune systems and our vaccine rates are still among the highest in the country so people aren’t becoming seriously ill.

“The situation we’re in now is like being in a garden where we’ve got the usual flora and fauna but coronavirus has been added into to it.

“It won’t go away but we’ll find ways to handle it.

“But health services are going to be running really hot into August, they can’t have that because with staff off it means they can’t carry on with their recovery programme.

“We’re expecting further waves because of the vaccination waning, they’ll likely be ones in September, October and January but they won’t be of the same magnitude that we’ve seen before.

“We’ll live with coronavirus but we’ll have to make adjustments, one of the big ones is not going to work if you have symptoms.

People should also carry on doing the basics such as hand washing, I still carry a mask with me for when I’m in crowded public spaces.

“We still need people to be sensible.”