G7 summit was super spreader event for Cornwall as cases rise 2,450%
Locals are now urging the government to implement surge testing in the area.
The recent G7 summit that took place in Cornwall looks like it was a superspreader event, with several areas in the region seeing an alarming increase in Covid cases.
The i reports that business leaders, politicians and residents are calling on the government to "save the summer" following the surge in infections that have come about after world leaders, their staff, media and thousands of security workers descended on Cornwall for the summit.
Some areas where G7 events took place have seen case numbers rise by more than 2,000% in the week leading up to the end of the summit.
The summit took place around Carbis Bay and Falmouth, with these areas now reporting some of the highest infection rates in the country.
The rate of Covid-19 infections in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly during the week to, and including, 13 June has risen from 2.8 per 100,000 people on the Sunday before G7 began to 81.7 per 100,000. This compares to a national average of 77.4 per 100,000.
But in the areas where G7 events were focused, the increase is even more alarming.
The rate of infection in St Ives and Halsetown has risen 2,450 per cent in the seven day period 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 per cent to 294.9 per 100,000 people in the same period.
The council ward of Falmouth East has seen a 2,000% rise in infections and is now recording 600 cases per 100,000 people.
Only two council wards in the country currently have a higher infection rate than St Ives.
There are now calls for surge testing to be implemented in these high case areas to fight the rise in infection, and for additional vaccines to immunise young people.
Kim Conchie, chief executive of the Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, said: "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."
However, a spokesman for the Cornwall Council said: "Cornwall Council’s public health team are working with a large number of partners in all areas where we are seeing a rise in cases to promote twice weekly testing and the importance of having both doses of the vaccine.
"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."
The council have said that there "is no evidence to connect the rise in case numbers to the G7 summit."
But Bernard Deacon, a retired social scientist lecturer at Exeter University and local resident in Redruth, said: "The council needs to employ some map readers. Haven't they seen the figures? Why is it that St Ives has had this huge rise and Penzance, just eight miles away hasn't? If it's not G7 then what is it?
"It looks like it is a super-spreader event to me, and now it's spreading out from St Ives and Falmouth into the rest of West Cornwall."