Redbridge becomes London’s biggest Covid hotspot

Redbridge residents must “act now to avoid a local lockdown” as the borough becomes London’s biggest coronavirus hotspot.

The rate of people infected has risen to 31.9 per 100,000 people, according to Public Health England (PHE) figures released today, higher than any other borough.

This is compared to just 11.2 infections for every 100,000 residents last week.

The council warns residents to stay two metres away from others, regularly wash their hands, wear a face mask and get tested if they have symptoms.

Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal said: “This is worrying news, the infection rate is going up in our borough putting local people at risk.

“We must act now and do everything we can to avoid a local lockdown and keep our friends, family members, and neighbours safe.

“We’re working with the Government and our partners to bring down the number of cases of this deadly virus.

“The best way to do that is limit the number of contacts people have, follow the latest government guidelines, and not mix in groups of more than six people.”

Some of the largest spikes are in  wards in the south of the borough and a few wards in the north and east.

From Monday (September 14), the Government has said residents must not meet people from other households in groups of more than six, including outdoors.

Pubs, restaurants, shops, and other venues will remain open, but people can only attend in groups of up to six. Places of worship may remain open.

Director of public health Gladys Xavier said: “We have to take these figures seriously and ensure that we don’t end up in lockdown as we’ve seen in other regions in the county.

“Please remember the importance of maintaining distance, washing, or sanitising hands regularly, wearing a face mask where needed, and getting a test if you have symptoms.

Please also avoid visiting elderly or vulnerable relatives if you’re feeling unwell.”

Anyone with symptoms can book a test by calling 119, visiting the Government website or visiting the borough’s walk-in centre in Mildmay car park (IG1 1HW).

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Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter