New Covid-19 campaign follows ‘wake-up call’ in Swindon
An urgent new campaign aimed at stopping the growing spread of coronavirus in Swindon has been launched today (Wednesday) in the wake of a government decision to place the town on a Covid-19 watchlist.
‘Swindon: It’s up to all of us’ is the headline of the new drive to reinforce vital public health messages to residents and prevent the area being plunged into a local lockdown.
On Friday the Government described Swindon as “an area of concern” on its national Covid-19 watchlist after a spike in cases in the week up to August 2 involving workers at the XPO Logistics distribution centre in Penzance Drive.
Although that outbreak is now well under control, with no new cases reported for several days, just under 50 new Covid-19 cases were reported in Swindon over the weekend.
Steve Maddern, Swindon Borough Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “The recent rise in cases and the Government highlighting us as an ‘area of concern’ is a wake-up call to us all. We cannot even begin to think we are coming to the end of this public health crisis.
“We are not at the point of implementing local restrictions, but we need to do everything we can to limit the spread of the disease and to keep our case rate down so we do not end up at that point.”
Dr Charlotte Forsyth, Medical Director at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The number of COVID-19 patients we are currently seeing in hospital is thankfully much lower than it was but I would urge the public not to get complacent.
“We can all do our bit to help prevent the spread of infection and it is important that everybody follows the national guidance.”
Dr Amanda Webb, Clinical Chair for Swindon, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire CCG, said: “As a GP, I know that many people in the local area like to take responsibility for their own health, and only seek help when their symptoms are no longer manageable at home.
“However, now is not the time to be a hero.
“It’s vitally important that people do not dismiss mild symptoms such as a fever, a cough or a change in taste or smell as a common cold, hayfever or a reaction to the warm weather.
“These symptoms are the warning signs that need to be acted on so, if you do begin to feel unwell, self-isolate immediately and book a coronavirus test by calling 119.”