Norfolk councillor blames complacency for 'home-brewed' coronavirus outbreak in Wymondham

  • Video report by ITV News Anglia's Charlie Frost

The leader of South Norfolk council is calling on people to take more responsibility, after coronavirus cases rocketed in the market town of Wymondham near Norwich.

John Fuller says there is now "900 cases per 100,000 people" in parts of the town, following a rapid increase over the last three weeks.

That means Wymondham has one of the highest infection rates in the country.

He says it's not just up to officials or the police to protect the community, individuals also have to "do their bit."

We are in the Premier League nationally, but it is not a league we want to feature in.

Cllr John Fuller, Leader of South Norfolk District Council

"We just need to knuckle down and earn our way out of this", Mr Fuller said.

The rates have not been linked to a specific outbreak, but there are concerns that some people are not sticking to lockdown rules.

"I think people have become complacent, certainly in the case of Wymondham", Fuller added.

"People who had symptoms didn't stay at home and when they were detected positive they didn't isolate within their home, so they gave it to family members."

"It is not the type of Christmas present that granny wants to receive, it is going to have long lasting scarring affects."

"People have let down their guard. This is an outbreak in Wymondham that has been home- brewed."

A UK-wide plan for Christmas to 'allow people to see their loved ones' is being discussed, said Matt Hancock. Credit: PA

There's fears some people across the region aren't taking the lockdown seriously, amid calls for people to continue to follow coronavirus rules.

The Health Secretary and West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock said on Friday that if people stick to the rules, families should get to see each other over the festive period. 

Speaking to ITV News Matt Hancock said: "We're working with devolved administrations to try to agree a set of rules for Christmas that will keep us safe, be the same across the UK I hope but also allow people to see their loved ones which I know so many people are yearning for."

The latest ONS figures show Covid infection rates across the country are levelling off, but in the East, cases are growing the fastest in England, outside of London.

Luton is one of the worst areas affected in our region, with 287 cases per 100,000 people in the week to 15 November, up from 254 the week before.

The highest rate in the Anglia region is in Luton with 287.3 cases per 100,000. Credit: ITV Anglia

In Northamptonshire, there was 1,686 positive tests, up two per cent on the previous week.

During Northamptonshire County Council's weekly press conference, the county's director of public health had a stark warning about Northampton and Daventry.

Lucy Wightman said both areas used to be "miles behind" the England average infection rate a few weeks ago, which is currently around 260 cases per 100,000 people, but both areas are now about level with that.There's been a steady increase in hospital admissions, with around 133 patients in hospitals across the county with the virus. 

Northampton General has had to postpone a number of outpatient clinics, warning that more non-emergency appointments could be cancelled across the county next week.