Agenda item

Agenda item

Covid 19 update

Report of the Chief Executive and Director of Public Health attached


The Executive considered a report of the Chief Executive and Director of Public Health, which provided an update on the COVID-19 situation within the city and the development of the Enhanced Response Area (ERA) Action Plan.


The Executive Member for Health and Care reported that Manchester now had the third highest rate of infections in the country (453 people per 100,000) and it was expected that rates would continue to increase as a result of the Delta variant. She reported that on 8 June 2021, Manchester along with the rest of Greater Manchester and parts of Lancashire were designated as an ‘Enhanced Response Area’.  This designation built on the experience of Bolton, who had seen a sharp increase in Delta variant cases from the beginning of May and over the past few months had implemented surge vaccination plans and widespread community testing which had helped to bring rates down in the borough.


Manchester had already been working on a targeted Variants of Concern Action Plan with a focus on particular parts of the city. This plan had now evolved into the ERA action plan.  The action plan would be implemented over a four week period up to the final stage of the road map on Monday 19 July 2021. The plan incorporated five key workstreams:-


·                Targeted vaccination drive;

·                Targeted communications and engagement;

·                Identifying and breaking chains of transmission (testing, contact tracing and support to self isolate);

·                Additional control measures; and

·                Mitigating the risk of transmission in Universities.


The Executive Member for Health and Care also reported that 331,000 people in Manchester had now had their first vaccination and 207,000 people had had their second vaccination.  She wished to place on record her thanks to all Council staff, health partners and volunteers who had been involved in the vaccination roll out across the city.  She highlighted that the recently published Marmot report into health inequalities had highlighted that there had been a  25% higher COVID mortality rate in Greater Manchester which had led to a "jaw-dropping" fall in life-expectancy in the North West with contributing factors identified in the report being "regressive" cuts to public funding since 2010, as poorer areas and those areas outside London and the South experienced proportionately larger cuts.


The Executive Member for Children’s Services commented that the findings of the Marmot report had also exposed inequalities in support available to families impacted by COVID.  He reported that whilst Government had only very recently announced some further additional funding to support the provision of free school meals during the summer holidays, it had not been enough.  He advised that Manchester would not let any of its children miss out on this provision and as such the Council once again would provide additional investment to make this available to every child (who qualified for free school meals in term time) during the summer holidays.


Councillor Karney commented that the Marmot report had also highlighted that half of the city’s wards where in the top 10% of deprivation within the country, which had impacted on many Manchester residents and their ability to deal with the pandemic due to economic inequalities.  He called on the new Health Secretary to respond to the Marmot report in advance of the proposed public inquiry into the Governments response to the pandemic.


The Leader noted that the impact on deprived communities had been consistent theme of the pandemic, with Governments’ response being “inequality blind”.  He referenced that improving population health and addressing health inequalities lay at the core of the Our Manchester Strategy and urged Government to listen to the outcome of the Marmot report and take real action in its commitment to helping the Manchester region "build back fairer".




The Executive:-


(1)          Note the update.


(2)          Support the Enhanced Response Area Action Plan.


(3)          Place on record its thanks to all Council staff, health partners and volunteers who have been involved in the vaccination roll out across the city.

Supporting documents: