Oldhamers asked to play their part as borough recovers from pandemic | Oldham Council
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Councillor Arooj Shah
Councillor Arooj Shah
Published: Wednesday, 24th February 2021

The call comes after the Prime Minister outlined his roadmap out of lockdown.

Leaders in Oldham are calling on communities across the borough to come together and do all they can to help the town recover from the pandemic, after the Prime Minister outlined his roadmap out of lockdown.

Underlying inequalities in areas such as health, the economy, housing and the job market, mean that places such as Oldham may have to work harder to keep Coronavirus levels low as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

People from all parts of the borough, and from all backgrounds, are therefore being asked to pull together, support each other and keep to the new guidance, to ensure Oldham can recover as quickly as possible from the devastating health, social and economic impact that Covid-19 has had.

Deputy Leader of Oldham Council, Councillor Arooj Shah, said: "In Oldham, we’ve had higher numbers of Covid-19 cases than elsewhere in the country throughout the pandemic.

"This isn’t because people here behave differently to other areas but because we have more people who work in front line roles that put them at more risk, more people who live in larger household groups and more people who can’t work from home easily.

"That means we will all have to work harder to support and protect each other – protecting each other from the virus, and also protecting local businesses from the impact of further lockdowns or restrictions."

Oldham has a large number of residents who are self-employed, potentially making them more economically vulnerable. In 2011 (best available statistics), 12,670 Oldham residents were self-employed, with 13% of these being in the “transport and communications” sector, which include taxi drivers.

Across Oldham, 6.6% of housing was overcrowded according to the 2011 Census, compared to 4.5% for England and Wales. Oldham is also considered the 19th most deprived local authority in the country, out of 316.

Cllr Shah added: "We all have a part to play. If you live or work here you can help by keeping to the guidance and continuing to follow hands, face, space.

"Please ensure you are getting tested regularly if you have to go outside of the home to work. With our four rapid testing sites across the borough, testing is quicker and easier than it has ever been.

"It's really important that people stay safe and stop the spread by self-isolating if you need to or are told to, and by taking up the vaccine when it is offered to you.

"But what's also crucial is that we pull together as one. We Are Oldham and we're in this together. That means supporting your local businesses, looking out for your neighbours, and ensuring we all play our part."

Oldham's vaccination programme is progressing well, with almost 60,000 first vaccinations already given to Oldham-registered patients.

Throughout the pandemic, Oldham has had 21,061 Covid cases, a rate of 8,882 per 100,000 population. This is the highest rate across Greater Manchester and the 13th-highest rate across the country. Oldham is also currently ranked 16th highest Local Authority in terms of deaths, at 273 deaths per 100k population.

Between 7 and 13 February, Oldham has had a rate of 187 per 100,000 population, which has decreased from 205 the previous week. For all the latest Coronavirus data, visit our website here.

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