People have been lied to over number of Covid-19 cases in Northamptonshire, claims GP surgeries boss

Updated data shows three times more new cases in county each day than previously revealed

By Kevin Nicholls
Monday, 6th July 2020, 10:48 am
Updated Monday, 6th July 2020, 10:53 am

A county healthcare boss says Northamptonshire residents have been lied to about the number of Covid-19 cases in the county.

Figures announced since Thursday show the number of fresh infections being reported here each day is THREE TIMES what it was been.

Professor Robert Harris, chief executive of Lakeside Healthcare, which runs a group of GP surgeries in the north of the county, has accused the Government of failing to reveal the full extent of the coronavirus infection levels.

Public Health England admitted on Thursday (June 2) the total number of Covid-19 cases in the county was nearly double what it had told the public over the last four months.

The latest figure of 1,695 cases since March announced on Wednesday only counted hospital tests. Updated data published for the first time the following day increased that to 3,105 with results of swabs taken at mobile testing units and in the wider community now included.

Prof Harris tweeted: “This is why my organisation Lakeside Healthcare has remained on full alert; why we have not relaxed our triage and treat process for three months; and why the safety of our patients and staff in Northants is paramount.

“Why is the data so massively unreliable?

Northamptonshire's two main NHS hospitals have seen 512 Covid-19 patients die during the pandemic

“Are we being lied to because of incompetency or because of political expediency? Neither is acceptable.

“On Saturday people will think it’s OK to resume normal service: in pubs; in parks; at parties.

"Know this: positive cases will rise; the death rate will rise.”

Northants' near-neighbour Leicester was forced into a new two-week 'local lockdown' following a spike in previously unpublished positive tests.

Results from mobile testing units in the county were added to the overall numbers for the first time on Thursday. Photo: Getty Images

This 'Pillar Two' data was not even shared with Leicester health officials until late in the day and the government is facing widespread criticism for holding back the information.

Northamptonshire's Director or Health Lucy Wightman issued a statement on Thursday playing down fears of a similar lockdown in Northamptonshire.

But she gave no figures and no indication of where in the county the infection may have been potent.

The first national updates since the reset in counting methods revealed 37 new infections in Northamptonshire lover three days up to 9am on Sunday morning.

That compares to an average rise of just over four positive tests per day over the previous two weeks under the old system.

Northamptonshire's two main NHS hospitals have seen 512 patients die after testing positive for the killer bug — the latest at Kettering General Hospital on Saturday.

A further 127 deaths in county care homes have been linked to the killer bug, although these only started to be added to published totals in late-April following huge public pressure.