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'This too will pass': Health Secretary Matt Hancock's message to West Suffolk after spike in coronavirus cases




Health Secretary Matt Hancock has moved to reassure residents in West Suffolk after the area was placed on a coronavirus watchlist due to a spike in cases.

West and East Suffolk is on an East of England watchlist by Public Health England following a rise in cases in Bury St Edmunds , Haverhill , Newmarket , Beccles , Bungay, Felixstowe and Lowestoft .

In a message to residents in an interview with the Bury Free Press, Matt Hancock, MP for West Suffolk, said: "This too will pass.

Health Secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock. Picture by Mark Westley
Health Secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock. Picture by Mark Westley

"We will get through it but the best way we can get through it is to follow the doctors' advice which is to follow the basics - hands, face and space; stick to the rule of six and the less social contact you have the less likely it is you will either catch or pass on the disease."

New restrictions are expected to be announced next week for the worst affected areas in England.

Asked what will happen next week, Mr Hancock said: "Decisions on that haven't been made yet.

Matt Hancock speaks to the Bury Free Press. Picture by Mark Westley
Matt Hancock speaks to the Bury Free Press. Picture by Mark Westley

"What we can see is that there is a rising number of cases across the country especially in parts of the North West, Yorkshire and the North East but even here in West Suffolk we've seen the number of cases rise in the last week.

"There were more than 20 two days running last week which is more than we've seen before so there is a serious problem and we all know the best way to stop the spread of the virus is by everybody following the basics.

"The more that people do that the easier this will be for everybody."

This week, Bury St Edmunds pub and bar owners called on the Government to scrap the 10pm curfew, which they said was 'disastrous' for trade.

Mr Hancock said: "There's lots of terrible consequences of this pandemic and one is that the virus breeds off the social interaction that makes life worth living.

"I get that, I'm a very gregarious person and it is one of the sad truths of the virus.

"We've put in unprecedented economic support and we've got to make sure that we help people as much as is possible."

On when the nation will return to normal, Mr Hancock added: "The plan is to suppress Covid, support the economy, education and the NHS until a vaccine can make us safe.

"The vaccine programme is going well but is always uncertain.

"The Prime Minister has said by this time next year we should be 'face to face and cheek by jowl' and we know we've got a difficult few months ahead of us but I hope we can get back to normal after that."

  • For the full interview, see next Friday's Bury Free Press newspaper.

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