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21 July 2020, 15:13
A local coronavirus lockdown in Blackburn and Darwin is 'the very last resort', its public health boss has said.
Blackburn has seen a spike of coronavirus cases, which have nearly doubled in the area in the last week.
According to official figures, the Lancashire borough is overtaking Leicester as the UK's coronavirus hot spot - with confirmed cases rising to 123 in the past week, compared with 63 the week before.
Public Health England data has shown that it had 82.6 cases per 100,000 people, in the week to 17 July, according to a report by the BBC.
Blackburn with Darwen’s director for public health, Professor Dominic Harrison, has said that he is 'reluctant' for Blackburn go into local lockdown, according to the report.
Cllr Mohammed Khan from Blackburn with Darwen Council said, according to Lancashire Post: "We are in danger of a local lockdown if there continues to be an increase in cases. Nobody wants this. Please, I urge you to follow the guidelines to protect your families, friends and your community."
At the time of writing, Leicester is the only UK area to be placed under local lockdown.
Matt Hancock announced the news on 29 June, saying: "Having taken clinical advice on the actions necessary, and having discussed them with the local team in Leicester and Leicestershire, we've made some difficult but important decisions.
"We've decided that from tomorrow, non-essential retail will have to close.
"As children have been particularly impacted by this outbreak, schools will also need to close from Thursday, staying open for vulnerable children and children of critical workers as they did throughout."
Last week, the Health Secretary announced that some measures would be lifted, and schools and some shops would be allowed to reopen.