02 Aug Coronavirus: Major incident declared in Greater Manchester after COVID-19 rise | UK News
A major incident has been declared in Greater Manchester amid a rise in coronavirus infection rates.
Gold command meetings of senior figures from the police, local authorities and other agencies have been taking place over the weekend, according to the Manchester Evening News.
A statement to Sky News from assistant chief constable Nick Bailey, chairman of the Local Resilience Forum, said: “Recognising that there are multiple localities across Greater Manchester seeing rises in infection rates, the group reviewed learning from other recent areas, including Leicester, and its own learning from across the partnership, and have taken the decision to declare this a major incident in order to respond as effectively as possible.
“This will enable us to maximise the capability of agencies across Greater Manchester, including additional resources if required, to instigate a prompt and positive change in direction.
“It is part of our desire to protect the population of Greater Manchester and provide them with the highest levels of assurance that agencies are doing all they can to reduce infection rates and bring Greater Manchester back to as near a state of normality as current times allow.”
Major incidents are often declared after a terror attack or major flood and mean a region can access extra national resources if necessary.
If the police need extra help in enforcement, the MEN reports, it is understood the army could be drafted in to support them.
Speaking to the newspaper, leader of Manchester City Council Richard Leese said: “Although the council and partner organisations have been working closely to tackle the impacts of the pandemic since early this year, declaring a major incident means we can ramp this up further.
“It allows the establishment of a central command structure to oversee the response and enables agencies involved to draw on extra resources.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Thursday that the COVID-19 lockdown in parts of northern England – including Greater Manchester, parts of West Yorkshire and East Lancashire – would be tightened because of an increasing rate of transmission.