The UK is considering a lockdown for the city of Leicester after a spike of coronavirus cases, British media reported.

The country is currently emerging from a national lockdown, which was imposed on March 23. Home secretary Priti Patel said the decision comes after 658 new cases were recorded in Leicester in the two weeks up to June 16.

“There will be support going into Leicester and in fact the health secretary was in touch with many of us over the weekend explaining some of the measures, the support on testing, resources that will go into the local authority as well. With local flare-ups it is right we have a localized solution”, Patel said.

The multicultural city has a population of 330,000. The spike comes amid fears that the virus has been spreading through its large Asian community.

“I received a briefing from the health secretary yesterday and yes, we have a spike in infections in Leicester and yes, we have to respond to that with extra testing capacity and extra support for the local authority”, said Leicester South MP and shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth. He added, however, he felt there was “no suggestion” a lockdown was about to happen.

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