A number of coronavirus hotspots in Liverpool have been identified as cases continue to surge in the city.
Mayor Joe Anderson has said he expects the city to be placed onto a government virus watch list later today because of the spiralling level of infections.
The watch list, announced each Friday, highlights areas of concern across the country where coronavirus is making a comeback and also signals which places could face restrictive new ‘lockdown’ measures in the near future.
Mayor Anderson said today he understands the entire region could be added to the list when it is updated tomorrow.
Liverpool’s very latest figures show that there have now been more than 300 confirmed cases in the city in the past seven days – an infection rate of 60 cases per 100,000 people.
And a closer inspection of the cases across the city show that large increases have been found in a number of areas.
The two stand our council ward areas are Riverside and Allerton and Hunts Cross.
Riverside, which falls within the L8 post code and includes the Brunswick business and station area, is top of the list with 28 confirmed cases.
Second on the list is Allerton and Hunts Cross, where there are 24 live cases of the virus.
Several other areas are posting concerning numbers too.
There are 14 infections in Tuebrook and Stoneycroft, 14 in Central ward and 13 in Picton.
Church ward also has 13 cases while County, Cressington, Speke-Garston and Kirkdale all have 12 current confirmed cases of covid-19.
Mayor Anderson said that if, as expected, the city is placed on the watch list, it could mean that new local lockdown restrictions are just around the corner.
He added: “We believe Liverpool will be added to the government watch list and understand the whole Merseyside area could be as well.
“This would obviously be a real setback for us because we have worked so hard on this.
“If this doesn’t happen then we could go into a local lockdown and that would be huge and devastating for us as a city and as a wider region.
“The watch list is a real blow – but it is also a real warning of what could happen next.”
The watch list is updated every week and we may not have confirmation of whether Liverpool and other areas of Merseyside have been added until later tomorrow.
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Birmingham was added to the list when its infection rate was around 30 cases per 100,000 people.
This is significantly lower than infection rates in Liverpool and Wirral at present.
Leaders in both boroughs have issued urgent warnings that local lockdown restrictions could arrive very soon if things do not change rapidly and if everyone doesn’t follow the strict social distancing and hygiene rules.
Mayor Anderson added: “It’s a question of either following those guidelines, those basic principles or we’ll enter into further lockdown.”