‘Super spreading’ G7 summit sends Covid cases skyrocketing 2,450% in Cornwall

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Local business leaders, politicians and residents have called on the Government to “save the summer” following the huge spike – which occurred where many of the political leaders and their entourages descended on. The summit – held early this month – was hailed as wildly successful by Prime Minister Boris Johnson after he enjoyed talks with US President Joe Biden.

Speaking afterwards he described the new president as a “breath of fresh air”.

Sadly the air around the southwest was decidedly staler – and helped the coronavirus – wreck havoc across the county.

One concerned local told the i newspaper: “It looks like a super spreader event to me, and now it’s spreading.”

Ironically one of the major points of discussion on the summit’s agenda was coronavirus and how best the world can cope and emerge from the pandemic.

But the summit, which attracted leading politicians and their respective security teams and officials, highlighted how contagious the virus is.

Data showed that the rate of Covid-19 infections in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly on the Sunday before the G7 began was 2.8 per 100,000.

This rose during the week to, and including, 13 June to 81.7 per 100,000.

It was a similar story in St Ives and Halsetown where infection rates jumped 2,450 percent.

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They skyrocketed to 733.2 per 100,000 people in the seven days to 13 June, when the summit came to an end.

In the council ward of St Ives East, Lelant & Carbis Bay the rate has risen by 800 percent to 294.9 per 100,000 people in the same period.

In a number of Falmouth council wards the rates are now more than 500 per 100,000, with Falmouth East hit by a 2,000 percent rise in infections to 600 per 100,000.

Only one council ward in Manchester and one in Leeds now have a higher rate of infection than St Ives.

The rates compare to a national average of 77.4 per 100,000.

Health chiefs believe that the rising rate could see a significant rise in the number of people being hospitalised with Covid.

Kim Conchie, chief executive of the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, told the i: “The largely unvaccinated young staff in our hospitality businesses are catching the Delta variant and they and their colleagues are having to isolate as a result.

“This is closing down pubs, bars and hotels at a frightening rate.

“We need surge testing, and if the Government wants to save the staycation, not only in Cornwall, but across all the holiday destinations in the UK, then perhaps it should look at providing extra doses in places like Cornwall to ensure the hospitality sector isn’t being forced to close due to staff shortages caused by Covid infections.”

Jayne Kirkham, Labour leader on Cornwall Council, added the rising rates were “a slap in the face for Cornwall businesses”.

A spokesman for the council said: “We are working with Public Health England and are monitoring the situation and will consider all possible actions as the situation evolves. At this stage it is not clear how surge testing will help.”

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