Local politicians in and around Manchester have told the government a lockdown is not the answer to the city’s coronavirus outbreak, and instead suggested shielding the vulnerable was the best solution.
The government is expected to place Manchester into a tier three lockdown after talks with local leaders stalled over funding available to support local businesses affected by the shut down. However the leader of Manchester city council Sir Richard Leese, who is also backed by some Tory MPs, urged to shield the elderly and those most at risk from the virus, claiming it would only cost a fifth of a tier three lockdown and would allow businesses to continue to trade.
It is claimed it would cost just £14 million per month to protect the elderly and vulnerable in the city, and that this would be far more effective than a total lockdown which would see non-essential businesses shut and mixing of households banned. Downing Street however hit back at the plan, saying it would be “wrong, unfair and not practical”. Ministers also warned on Monday Manchester’s hospitals would be overwhelmed within three weeks if the city refused to accept a tier three lockdown. This was later refuted by Professor Jane Eddleston, who acts as the lead medical officer for the area, and said the system would be able to cope.
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