09 Dec Basildon Council leader Gavin Callaghan welcomes Lateral Flow Tests for borough residents
The Leader of Basildon Council Councillor Gavin Callaghan has welcomed Lateral Flow Tests (LFT) for borough residents but says it could have been done sooner and we now need to focus on closing schools early for Christmas to stop the spread of the virus.
Cllr Callaghan said: “We agreed to enter into Tier 2 early on the proviso that we would be the first for the lateral flow tests, which give results in around 30 minutes. We have been ready to get the ball rolling since 15 October, so it is hard to understand why the Government and Essex County Council have taken almost two months to get their house in order.
“The ECC and government delays, has put Basildon in a precarious position with our infection rate now rising to one of the highest in the country. This never needed to happen.
“It is imperative now that ECC and partners really listen to Basildon Council and up the pace of their response to this growing issue in the borough. And not just on testing.
“Schools must also be prioritised in the response. It is imperative that schools now close early for Christmas as cases continue to rise among the young and teaching staff, at alarming rates. We must end the confusion and chaotic approach to this across the borough. We need to stop this age group from mixing and this needs to happen at least two weeks before Christmas when families, including elderly relatives, will be sitting down together for their Christmas dinner.
“No one wants further restrictions imposed on us but that is a very real possibility if we don’t all continue to play our part now.”