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People need to take COVID-19 seriously again or risk lockdowns, says Bradshaw

Everyone needs to “take COVID-19 seriously again” or else we will likely see localised lockdowns introduced during the pandemic, Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said.

She was speaking after Health Minister Robin Swann warned Northern Ireland was ‘in danger of sliding down a very slippery and treacherous slope’ during the pandemic. Almost 300 new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded here in the past week, with the Minister hinting lockdowns may be put in place as a result.

“The message from the Health Minister was emphatic and unequivocal today – unless people start taking the energy and potency of COVID-19 seriously again and stick rigidly to the public health measures around washing hands, social distancing, wearing face coverings and getting tested if necessary, then we are going to see the introduction of localised or sectoral lockdowns,” said Ms Bradshaw.

“With many schools re-opening in the next week and the potential for even more community transmission of the virus, it is so important everyone takes responsibility for keeping safe. It should not just be left to the Department of Health and Trusts.

"I also welcome today’s announcement of the increase in availability of the flu vaccine. I sincerely hope those who should be availing of it do so, as the vaccination programme is another mechanism for keeping people well and preserving the valuable resources of our Health and Social Care Trusts."