Lancashire professor says "now is not the time" to relax on Covid restrictions

A Lancashire professor is urging people in the county to maintain the “hands, face, space” guidance on COVID-19 in the lead up to Christmas.

By Matthew Calderbank
Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 1:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 1:26 pm

Professor Satyan Rajbhandari, a consultant physician with Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, says "now is not the time" to relax our approach to Covid restrictions.

In a short pre-recorded video message, Professor Rajbhandari said that after a long period of restrictions in most parts of the North West - where more than 300,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 - there are encouraging signs that the "R number" is beginning to dip below 1 in the Lancashire area.

But in order to maintain the good progress in getting the “R number” down, and with a vaccination programme just around the corner, Professor Rajbhandari says it is vital that people in Lancashire continue to wash their hands regularly, wear a face mask in enclosed spaces, keep two metres distance where possible, and avoid crowds or gathering in groups.

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As of today (Thursday, December 3), there are currently 2,446 people in the region's hospitals who are being treated for COVID-19, including 194 on ventilation.

Professor Rajbhandari, who is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, is urging people not to become complacent as hospital trusts in Lancashire prepare for a mass vaccination roll-out following the approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

He said: "Our sacrifices have brought about some encouraging news. The R number for the North West is estimated to be in the region of 0.9 and we are seeing some decline in cases.

"But this is not the time to relax. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, you must self-isolate and book a test.

Professor Satyan Rajbhandari is a consultant physician with Lancashire Teaching Hospitals

"While we have all given up freedoms during the pandemic, we must also remember that we have a duty to control the virus. Please stay safe."

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Yesterday (Wednesday, December 3), 336 people tested positive for the virus in the Lancashire County Council area, and a further 26 cases were confirmed in the Blackpool Council area.

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