As many of you may know, the Council, working with Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace, today began an enhanced community testing programme in an area of south Manchester which includes part of Whalley Range ward. This follows the detection of a small number of cases of Covid-19 mutation E484K, which is related to the so-called ‘Kent variant’. There are full details on the Council website here, and you can also click on the map for a more detailed view to see if you live in the area affected.
Whalley Range Labour Councillor Angeliki Stogia says “I live in the designated area so I’ll be getting a test in the next couple of days. And if you live in Whalley Range ward east of Princess Parkway, east of Withington Road and north of Yarburgh Street, or on Yarburgh Street itself, then please take a test as soon as you can. If you’re not sure if you’re included in the scheme, just check the map.”
As previously reported, Manchester City Council faces some very tough choices to try and address a huge shortfall in the budget for the next financial year, caused by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Council will vote on the budget at their full meeting in March. You have an opportunity to comment on the proposals before then – to read more about the spending plans for each department and have your say, follow this link to the Council website. The consultation closes on 21 February.
As we reported two weeks ago, Whalley Range is lucky to have two neighbourhood centres administering the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme. On Monday, Whalley Range Labour candidate Muqaddasah Bano visited Everest Pharmacy on Withington Road along with Councillors Aftab Razaq and Angeliki Stogia, where they met Mr Waqqass Sheikh and his staff who are hard at work delivering the service, seven days a week.
As Waqqass pointed out, anyone who has received an NHS letter or a message from their GP to say that they are now eligible for the vaccine, can make an appointment at one of these local centres – it’s not necessary to travel across the city to another venue. He says that currently Everest have plenty of capacity, and it’s often possible to get an appointment at short notice.
Two pharmacy-based community vaccination centres are opening shortly in Whalley Range ward and will soon start administering Covid-19 vaccines in partnership with the NHS rollout.
Kapoor Pharmacy Services have teamed up with Whalley Range Cricket and Lawn Tennis Club to create a bespoke temporary facility at the clubhouse at 135 Kingsbrook Road.
Councillors Aftab Razaq and Angeliki Stogia visited the centre this afternoon to check how the fitout work was progressing. Aftab says “It’s quite a transformation – the team here have managed to create a clean, safe medical environment inside the clubhouse in just a short period of time”. Angeliki adds “Whalley Range is lucky to have not one but two local centres opening in our ward – it will really help older residents who don’t have cars or have understandable concerns about using public transport, as there may well be a vaccination centre within a short walk of their home”.
Manchester’s top health chiefs have come together with personal messages of solidarity to the people of Manchester for their help with Covid test and trace work. As lockdown gradually lifts further, it is now even more important that people who think they may have coronavirus stay at home and book themselves a test as soon as possible. It’s also vital that anyone who gets a call from the NHS Test and Trace team – to say that they have been near a person who has tested positive – follows the rules around self-isolating for two weeks.
And, while the thought of another two weeks could be a daunting prospect, the city’s chiefs want to give their own personal thoughts on why it’s critical.