Wulfrunians are being urged to ignore the conspiracy theorists and take Covid-19 seriously – as infections, hospitalisations and, tragically, deaths from the deadly virus continue to remain high.

Over 850 people in the city tested positive for Covid-19 in the 7 days up to 22 November, while nationally Covid-19 is now accounting for 1 in 6 deaths – with 608 fatalities recorded yesterday (Tuesday 24 November).

Despite this, numerous conspiracy theories about the virus continue to be spread – including unfounded suggestions that Covid-19 was created in a laboratory, is spread through 5G mobile phone technology, is a population control scheme or simply doesn't exist.

Councillor Ian Brookfield, Leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, said: "People need to ignore the conspiracy theorists and understand that Covid-19 is very real – and that that we must act now if we are going to prevent more people dying unnecessarily.

"I despair when I see posts on social media claiming the virus doesn't exist, that it's a hoax, or that people aren’t dying from it – the truth of the matter is that Covid-19 is claiming hundreds of lives each and every day, and to deny this fact is incredibly dangerous.

"Yes, you might very well be one of the lucky ones who doesn't know anyone who has caught Covid-19 – but most of us do; and some have tragically lost loved ones or dear friends to this terrible virus.

"Anti vaxxers have also been busy trying to discredit the brilliant work which is taking place around the world to develop a coronavirus vaccine, even though this looks set to offer us the quickest route out of this pandemic, and anti maskers are denying evidence which proves that wearing a face covering helps to prevent the onward transmission of the virus.

"Spreading misinformation about Covid-19, holding protest demonstrations and encouraging others to ignore the measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus will only mean it takes even longer for life to get back to normal for the rest of us. So please, don't listen to the conspiracy theorists – together, let's follow the rules and let's defeat this virus."

Latest data shows there were 326.2 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the 7 days to 22 November. That means 858 people in the city tested positive for the virus in that 7 day period – though the true number of new cases will likely be considerably higher.

England is currently subject to a national lockdown to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. For full details of the lockdown measures, Full details of the national lockdown measures, and the answers to frequently asked questions, are available at COVID Alert.   

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages

Symptoms of Covid-19 include a fever, a new, continuous cough and loss or change to a person’s sense of taste and smell. To book a test, visit GOV.UK or call 119. People can get tested within 8 days of developing symptoms.