THE city's director of public health has been told we should consider holding "Covid parties" to reach herd immunity.

Independent councillor Tony Janio emailed Alistair Hill, the city's health tsar, with his suggestion yesterday afternoon.

He said we should consider issues, such as mental health, education and cancer, that we are storing up for the future.

The Brighton and Hove City Council representative then suggested we should hold "Covid Parties" to obtain immunity "whilst the sun shines".

The Argus: 'We should consider Covid Parties'

The Hangleton and Knoll councillor was responding to Mr Hill's weekly update on Covid in Brighton and Hove, which stated cases in the city were stabilising or on their way down.

He wrote: "Thanks for the information. But where is the economic and health analysis if we were to follow your suggestions?

"And, as much as the lefties deny it, economics is a proxy for ‘health, wealth and happiness' (a poorish one I admit) and we must ask ourselves what dreadful issues (mental health, cancer, education etc) we are storing up for the future, and that will need to be dealt with?

The Argus: Independent councillor Tony Janio

"An alternative suggestion would be that as 90 per cent of the population has some form of ‘resistance’ to Covid we should encourage as much mixing as possible, possibly even holding ‘Covid parties’, to obtain almost 100 per cent immunity whilst the sun shines?

"We should also stop testing – apart from those travelling from abroad – as this is now just a massive distraction.

"Let’s face it, people are dying from numerous causes but the only one we are worried about is a virus that will be with us forever and that we are testing for in extraordinary numbers (almost a million) every day.

"Time to move on."

The latest data available on the government's website - the week ending August 21 - shows the rate of infection per 100,000 city residents is now 424.

The was one death in the city where Covid was recorded on the death certificate in the week ending August 13.

Three people died during the previous week. There are now 22 people in Brighton in Hove in hospital with the disease.

Responding to Cllr Janio's email, Labour councillor for Westbourne Ward, Chris Henry, said: "Dear Tony, as much as I love the pantomime villain persona you inhabit, I feel duty-bound to point out that 174 Covid deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, equivalent to 63,000 a year.

"So please accept my apologies for not accepting the invite to your Covid party. Have fun though."

When contacted by The Argus, Cllr Janio said: "In the old days we had chickenpox parties, it's a similar thing here.

"Parties to encourage people who are likely to get it, to get it before the winter pressures. I think that's massively sensible.

"Get it over and done with in the summer, more encouragement to mix and if that means the council has a party on the beach, so be it.

"So many problems are building up that if we keep storing up and go into another lockdown, that would cripple our economy. "