"Just because we could doesn't mean we should" this Christmas, Lancashire public health boss warns

Lancashire's director of public health has urged the county's residents to be cautious over the forthcoming Christmas season.

Thursday, 26th November 2020, 6:36 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th November 2020, 7:42 pm

Earlier this week, the government said that mixing would be permitted between three households over a five-day period from 23rd December to enable families to meet up over the festive period in temporary Christmas bubbles.

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However, Dr. Sakthi Karunanithi warned: “Just because we all could doesn't mean we all should.”

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There is concern about the impact of more household mixing over Christmas

“We need to be making smarter and safer choices, especially where there are family members who are elderly or have chronic diseases.

“So what we do before Christmas - and during it - will determine how cheerfully the new year dawns.”

The public health boss suggested that Lancashire may issue its own Christmas Covid message after an assessment of local case rates nearer the time - and warned that any spike in cases as a result of a care-free Christmas would be likely to feed through into the NHS at the time when it was traditionally at its busiest with the usual annual winter pressures.

Dr. Karunanithi appealed for people to keep their eyes focused on the hope that is on the horizon when deciding what to do during the holiday period.

“The only thing that has got the virus down is all of our hard work.

“We are so close to the runway, we are descending and we want it to be a safe landing - not to take off again. So let’s not take our seatbelts off just yet,” he warned.

At the Downing Street press briefing on Thursday, England's chief medical officer Chris Witty also advised people to avoid hugging elderly relatives, should they meet with them over Christmas," if you want them to survive to be hugged again", he said.

Meanwhile, a member of the government’s Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (SPI-M) has warned that studies suggest there is an average of a one in three chance of the household contacts of a single Covid-positive individual contracting the virus themselves.

Dr Adam Kucharski made the comments in an interview with The Guardian newspaper.