RESIDENTS across Coventry have been urged to ‘not drop their guard’ against Coronavirus as the vaccine programme continues to progress across the region.
Coventry City Council leader Coun George Duggins joined other leaders from across the West Midlands to issue a rallying call to people.
Cases remain high and hospitals are under huge pressure with the latest figures showing almost 40,000 people are currently in hospital with coronavirus across the UK.
The vaccine roll-out is one cause for optimism, but echoing the fears from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), Coun Duggins said: “The rates are still high, and we cannot afford to relax now after all we have been through and all the sacrifices people have made.
“As more people are being called for vaccination, it’s crucial that we all continue to do everything we can to keep the people we love safe.
“Don’t be tempted to bend the rules, and please continue to follow the ‘Hands, Face, Space’ advice to keep yourself and others safe.
“The vaccination roll-out has given everyone hope that we can finally bring this pandemic to an end, but we’re not out of the woods yet – far from it. So we can’t afford to drop our guard.”
Coun Duggins, along with the leaders of Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull, Dudley, Walsall and Wolverhampton councils, has also called for those who cannot stay at home to take regular tests to ensure they are not unknowingly carrying the virus.
The city now has three testing centres – at the Transport Museum in the city centre; the Indian Community Centre in Foleshill and the Moat House Leisure and Neighbourhood Centre in Wood End.
Four more are set to open in the coming days at The AT7 Centre in Upper Stoke, The Alan Higgs Centre in Lower Stoke, The Xcel Centre in Westwood and The Hagard Community Centre in Willenhall.
They will give thousands of people easy access to the Lateral Flow Tests that are a key weapon in slowing the spread of the virus.
Coun Duggins said: “Testing continues to be very important and I would urge anyone who has to go to work or to public places, or who is caring for someone, to take weekly tests.
“Even if you are symptom-free, you could still be carrying the virus and regular testing will give you peace of mind and will help us to slow the spread.”
Anyone with any of the main COVID symptoms should seek a test in the normal way – by dialling 119 or by visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.
To find out more about testing, coronavirus or local restrictions and support, visit www.coventry.gov.uk/coronavirus.