Number of new Bristol coronavirus cases 'plummets' - but mayor sounds note of caution

May 22 2020
Number of new Bristol coronavirus cases 'plummets' - but mayor sounds note of caution

THE daily number of new coronavirus cases in Bristol has “plummeted” – but that could mean fewer residents are immune to the virus, the city’s mayor has warned.

The total stood at 692 today – an increase of just 5 cases in two days. That followed a period of five days where only one new case had been reported.

And Marvin Rees, speaking on a Facebook Live broadcast earlier in the week after consulting with Bristol City Council’s director of public health, Christina Gray, said that the daily rate of increase of cases, had “plummeted quite significantly in Bristol now”.

He said: “That is obviously good news, but it brings with it challenges while we obviously work out how the virus works, because if it is the case that by contracting the virus you build up a degree of immunity then obviously we’ve had fewer people build up the immunity.”

There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from Covid-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection, according to latest advice from the World Health Organization.

There are no specific vaccines or treatment for the disease available.

Bristol reported its first case of Covid-19 on March 6. Since then, just over nine new cases a day have been reported, on average.

But just one new case has been reported since Sunday (May 17), according to government figures. 

A total of 217 people have died with Covid-19 in Bristol’s hospitals, and at least another 100 have died in care homes across the city, according to official figures.

Mr Rees warned that the virus was “not going anywhere soon”.

We are going to have to learn how to live with it,” he said. “So let’s look at the changes that we’re living in as the new normal for the time being.

Our guidance is still to stay home as much as you can, to work from home if you can, and certainly to social distance [and] to follow the hygiene directives as well, wash your hands frequently.”

Anyone who has concerns or who needs help with the coronavirus lockdown can phone the council’s free-to-use hotline ‘We Are Bristol’ on 0800 694 1084.

They can also email the council at coronavirus@bristol.gov.uk.

By Amanda Cameron, Local Democracy Reporting Service