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Early lessons from a second COVID-19 lockdown in Leicester, UK

As the number of new cases of COVID-19 continues to decline in the UK, national lockdown measures are being cautiously relaxed. However, Leicester has become the first city in England to have lockdown measures reimposed. There are growing concerns about further local outbreaks, with the potential to culminate in a second wave. The national strategy for managing, if not mitigating, these risks has been centralised and primarily focused on so-called pillar 2 community-based swab testing completed by remote lighthouse laboratories and contact tracing. This is supported by continued pillar testing, in National Health Service hospital laboratories, of patients admitted to hospital. Here we report our early experience of the second spike in COVID-19 cases in Leicester. The ethnic pluralism and cultural diversity celebrated by the city now presents complex and considerable public health challenges. As the city enters a local lockdown, we consider whether lessons should be learnt to avoid or better manage similar inevitable surges across other areas of the UK. 

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