But locals will be uneasy at Tories sending military into city
Liverpool city and Merseyside metro mayors Joe Anderson and Steve Rotheram have succeeded in pressing the the government into making Liverpool the pilot for a new coronavirus testing programme that will result in everyone living or working in the city being offered regular coronavirus tests, with both standard swab tests and rapid turnaround tests being used.
Anderson said of the announcement:
During negotiations with central government, myself and Steve Rotheram have always highlighted the need for enhanced public health intervention measures in Liverpool and the wider city region, and we were keen that we should be considered for any new strategies to tackle the worrying rise in Covid-19.
We are pleased that our numerous conversations have resulted in Liverpool becoming a pilot for mass testing, which will help to quickly identify people who have the virus and reduce transmission substantially.
We are seeing a slow reduction in figures in Liverpool which shows we are on the right path and residents and businesses are working together and following guidelines for the greater good.
We hope this new initiative boosts our efforts, and we will continue to see the numbers of positive cases drop across the city.”
The city council will give details of the arrangements in the next few days. However, the move will mean the military moving into the city in numbers to administer the programme. With Liverpool’s proud history of resistance to the Tories, the idea of Boris Johnson sending in troops will make many uneasy, even for a positive programme with the prospect of bringing down the rate of infection.
The scheme is only likely to help if local experts are also put in charge of contact tracing of those testing positive, as the Tories’ nationally-organised version has been a shambles.
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