Harrowing message to Covid sceptics from those who experienced it

Senior councillors who have been affected by coronavirus have urged residents in Newport to “pull together” and follow the rules.

City council cabinet members spoke of how the virus has affected them and their families as they urged the public to follow lockdown regulations at a meeting on Friday.

Cllr Debbie Harvey, cabinet member for culture and leisure, said all nine councillors in the cabinet had been “affected directly” by coronavirus.

“Two of my own children have had it,” she said.

“Other members of this cabinet have tested positive and members of our group are testing positive, as are members of the opposition.

“There is nothing fake about this. There is nothing to dismiss it at all in anyway.

“It’s very serious and sadly thousands of people have died.”

Cllr Ray Truman, cabinet member for licensing and regulation, urged people to “pull together” and follow the rules.

“All those people who have denied Covid, the people who have said it is a hoax; this is here, this is real,” he said.

“People have lost loved ones and they are still losing loved ones.

“We have all got to pull together and we will get through it.”

Council leader, Cllr Jane Mudd said the roll-out of vaccinations offered ‘hope’ but that people would need to be patient.

“I can’t emphasise enough how important it is that all of our residents and businesses continue to comply with these restrictions,” she said.

Cllr Mudd also told residents that some potential service disruption could be expected due to coronavirus.

“We are reaching a point where we need to be mindful that there might be some short-term disruption to service provision if this continues to impact on the people that deliver these services,” she said.

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Cllr Mudd said the authority will focus on providing essential services, but urged residents to “bear with us”, adding that council staff are “not immune to this”.

The pleas to follow the rules came as the cabinet received an update on the council’s response to coronavirus.

As of December 18, 38 of the city’s 42 primary schools have had positive cases of Covid-19 and all nine secondary schools have recorded cases.

The city’s two special schools have also reported a case and there has been one nursery with a positive test, according to the report.

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