LEADING Bradford doctor Professor John Wright has expressed his fears about whether the city will go back into strict lockdown because of inequalities that residents face.

The epidemiologist says he not surprised that Bradford is second in the table of areas with the worst positive results in testing for coronavirus because of poverty.

In his latest BBC blog, he says that rumours swirling round the city that a lockdown will be announced on Monday are false but they are causing "understandable worries".

He quotes Accident and Emergency consultant Dr David Greenhorn, who he says had to treat people who got into fights at VE Day parties and was braced for the same this weekend after the reopening of pubs and predicts a new spike in Covid-19 admissions in 10 days' time.

Prof Wright says Dr Greenhorn thinks this could result in a new lockdown and that only a second lockdown, in his view, would teach people the importance of social distancing.

"The reality is that this is a terrible virus and people aren't seeing that any more. I see a lack of social distancing all the time, I see people just ignoring the rules," he quotes Dr Greenhorn as saying.

The head of the Bradford Institute for Health Research says in his blog: "The sunny uplands of pubs and hairdressers beckon, and after 100 days of lockdown everyone wants to reclaim their freedom. The looming threat of a giant Whack-a-Mole mallet hovering over our heads is both tactless and disturbing.

"We knew back in February that cities like Bradford would be at great risk and we have worked hard to protect our communities, urging lockdown a week before the government announced it. People are wise and they knew what was coming long before the government told them to shelter.

"High population density and multi-occupancy housing create ideal conditions for rapid transmission of the virus. Fragile economic existences necessitate low-paid, key worker jobs that have kept the country alive, yet have created such deadly risks of occupational exposure. Large South Asian populations have faced higher risks of death than their white British neighbours."

He said that the number of cases at Bradford Royal Infirmary are "the tip of the Covid-19 iceberg" and that staff remain busier than in neighbouring Leeds, Huddersfield and Airedale.

"We are seeing more patients from multi-generational households confirming evidence that more young people are catching the virus from mixing together, and then bringing it home to their parents and grandparents," he added.

"We share lessons with our clinical colleagues in Leicester where they have similar numbers of Covid-19 patients on the wards and in ICU."

He said there is more testing going in the city than anywhere else in Yorkshire so that there are more positive cases and they tend to be younger and from poorer parts of Bradford.

He added: "Crucially, when we look at temporal trends, our cases are falling. We can see spikes over the last three months - perhaps related to socialising from VE Day and Eid. We call the longest, recent spike the Cummings Curve as it follows the widely publicised transgressions of the Prime Minister's adviser, which led the news at the end of May.

"So we are not Leicester yet, but there is no room for complacency and our outbreak plans are well rehearsed. We have worked closely with our communities from the very start - this is their city and we trust our citizens to make the right choices. We are nervous about the pubs - alcohol has a tendency to cloud judgements and lead to love or war: social distancing is tricky for both.

"Bars will be the riskiest of places to be for the next few weeks.

"We will continue to keep a nervous eye on the Covid-19 league table, but with insight that tells us that this is not just a league table of infections, it is also a league table of inequality."