Covid-19 figures trending downwards all over Cambridgeshire
The number of cases of Covid-19 is trending downwards all over Cambridgeshire; but we’re not through it yet - that's the message from the county's top health adviser.
Dr Liz Robin, director of public health for Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council, and a co-opted member of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group governing body spoke to members at their online meeting.
Dr Robin, told the CCG meeting on Wednesday (10): “Although the signs are very encouraging with the fall in cases that we’re now seeing in Cambridgeshire and just recently in Peterborough, the rates still remain very high.
“I can’t emphasise that enough – compared to the summer and early autumn of last year when we were worried in Cambridgeshire about maybe 10 cases per 100,000, and 30 cases per 100,000 in Peterborough, we now face a situation where we’re looking at another level of magnitude of cases per 100,000 in our local communities.
“It’s therefore essential that we’re not becoming complacent and take our foot off the pedal, and that we continue to maintain full compliance with the lockdown rules.
“Otherwise, all the good things that have happened as a result of lockdown rules – despite it being very, very hard for people and often very stressful – it is succeeding, we can see that from the figures, and so if people can just keep going for a bit longer, that is so very important.”
Adrian Chapman service director, Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council presented an updated report on the vaccination delivery plan.
He said: “We are very much ahead of the game compared to other regions in the UK in making certain our frontline health and social care workers have been vaccinated and that they pass on the information that the deployment process is safe, accessible and supported with the necessary infrastructure to maximise capacity as soon as possible.
“We also have a responsibility to ensure that communication regarding the roll-out of the vaccination process reaches those who may be complacent or worried about things they may have heard, either verbally or online, dispelling the myths that are currently doing the rounds especially on social media.
“Of course, that priority includes us reaching out to vulnerable and hard-to-reach and health inclusion groups in our communities – sadly these are the people who are most vulnerable to the myths and rumours that circulate in times such as these.
“We must consider alternative delivery models for vaccinating those experiencing homelessness where mainstream provision is unsuitable, in addition to ensuring that everyone sleeping rough or brought into emergency accommodation is registered with a GP.”
Dr Gary Howsam, chair at the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG agreed, saying: “It is absolutely vital that we identify carers through their local GP practices and not only through this programme.
“Obviously it’s vital that people register with their GP as we find a lot of people don’t self-identify as carers.
“It’s a very easy mechanism whereby people can register with a GP in their local community and then it becomes coded in their records that they are carers, all of which makes it easier for us to identify that cohort.
“My message to the public is that it is vital they’re registered with their local GP, and information is available in many different languages about how to do this.
“It’s important for a whole host of reasons, but especially for Covid-19 vaccinations as and when they roll-out for each target group, that we know you’re registered with a local practice.”
Christine Birchall, Joint Head of Communications, Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council added: “There has never been a vaccination progress like this before – so we have no data on how to reach the most vulnerable hard to reach groups whose lifestyle, culture and language may act as a barrier towards them getting the protection they need for themselves and their families.
“This is coupled with the supportive messages that we need to ensure we reach local communities – especially from men, faith leaders, and public-spirited community leaders who bring clarity to counter the misinformation that is out there at the moment.
“We’re hearing heart-breaking information from some of these hard-to-reach, more suspicious groups who have been mis-led with social media.
“They need to be reached through easy-to-understand information delivered in appropriate ways such as the campaign launched today using Elton John and Michael Caine.
“We’re calling our programme ‘Say Yes to the Vaccine’ providing clear calls to action emphasizing the benefits to individuals, their families and of course their local communities – so that we can all head back to a ‘normal’ way of life.”