Care providers call for immediate lockdown 'to end home deaths’

England needs an urgent, short and total lockdown to halt a steady rise in the number of people dying from Covid-19 in care homes, according to North Yorkshire representative body Independent Care Group (ICG).

The ICG said it is time to “end the confusion and hold the so-called circuit-breaker lockdown” in England as in Wales and Northern Ireland.

The call comes as the latest data from Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed 63 people died from Covid-19 in care homes across England and Wales in the week ending 9 October, up from 46 the previous week and the highest total since July.

The ICG fears the picture could be much worse once the time delay is considered.

“We are now starting to see more significant increases in the number of Covid-19 deaths in care and nursing homes and we have to act quickly. These figures are a week or two behind, so I would expect the reality to be somewhat worse,” said ICG chairman Mike Padgham.

“Reluctantly, I think the time has come for a short, sharp lockdown to try to stop the second wave in its tracks,” he added.

Padgham said another national lockdown seems inevitable.

“Yes, we have to protect the economy but first and foremost we have to protect people’s lives and the lives of the staff caring for them. If we don’t lockdown now, we will have to do so soon and probably for a longer time, doing even more damage to the economy,” he added.

“At the moment we have people travelling all over the place, from areas of high infection rate to low areas, so the virus is bound to spread and spread. It is regrettable, but I feel the only way is to lockdown again and protect our oldest and most vulnerable in particular, until we can regain control.”