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Coronavirus: New plea for Norfolk people to follow rules because of high infection rates

Political, health and police leaders in Norfolk have renewed their pleas for the public to abide by the coronavirus lockdown rules as infection rates remain high.

Latest data suggests there were 195 confirmed cases in West Norfolk in the seven days up to last Saturday, November 7.

But the borough's rolling infection rate, of 128.8 cases per 100,000 people, appears to have fallen slightly in the last 24 hours.

Coronavirus news.
Coronavirus news.

However, senior officials say now is not the time to ignore the current restrictions, as rates are still rising across the county as a whole

And Norfolk County Council leader Andrew Proctor said: “It’s only by all playing our part and staying home as much as possible that we can get some more of our freedoms back.

“Anyone can get this virus, anyone can spread it and the reality is that we just don’t know how it will affect each of us.

“We all need to continue to work together, remember hands, face and space so we can keep each other safe and protect our loved ones and our communities.”

NHS England data shows three new Covid-related deaths have been recorded at Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, taking the overall total since the start of the pandemic to 160. The figures show the most recent fatality was recorded last Friday.

There have been 139 deaths at the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston and 129 at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

Dr Louise Smith, the county's director of public health, said: “There is positive news that a vaccine is on its way but we are not there yet and it will be many weeks before we see the impact of an immunisation programme.

“Now is not the time to become complacent because we can still catch and spread the virus, if we let our guard down.

“If you need to isolate please go home immediately and stay there. Every second that someone stays on at work, visits the shops or comes into contact with others places people at risk.

“There is support to isolate, including access to funding, food and medication. We understand that it’s hard to stay at home but in doing so you are helping to prevent the virus spreading and helping to save lives.”

Meanwhile, police chiefs have urged people not to take part in protests following eight arrests at events across the county last weekend.

Norfolk Police assistant chief constable Nick Davison said: "While recognising people normally have the qualified right to peaceful protest and that this is an important part of our democracy, these are unprecedented times in which we all have to follow rules to stop the spread of coronavirus.

"We’re several months into this health crisis; people know what is expected of them and that gatherings carry a high risk of transmitting the virus. If people don’t follow the rules, we risk prolonging these restrictions.

"We don’t make the rules, we enforce them. We will always look to engage, explain and encourage in this first instance.

"However, when it’s clear this advice is being ignored, we will have no other option than to use the powers available to us and fine people in breach of the restrictions.”

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