Despite an increase in number of new coronavirus cases in SW London
This Tuesday morning (June 30) a number of national newspapers included a list of 36 local authorities where the number of coronavirus cases had increased this week, prompting fears of further local lockdowns, like the one announced in Leicester on 29 June 29.
The list included both Wandsworth and Richmond as well as 13 other London boroughs.
It showed Wandsworth had seen just two new cases from June 13 to 16, but this had risen to seven new cases between June 20 to 26.
As of 30 June there have been a total of 1,015 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Wandsworth.
In Richmond, there were zero new cases from June 13 to 16, but this had risen to two new cases between June 20 and 26, bringing Richmond’s total to 419 cases.
However, Richmond Council today confirmed the borough is not currently at risk of another lockdown, even if the virus has not yet been eradicated from the local area.
In a statement, the council reiterated that the borough generally has a very low rate of cases compared to other London boroughs, and that it is “entirely expected” that cases will begin to rise as people begin to emerge from lockdown and the government’s Test and Trace programme expands.
The council reminded residents to “stay vigilant” and adhere to government advice, such as washing hands regularly, social distancing and wearing face masks on public transport.
Those who feel unwell should self-isolate immediately and apply for a Covid-19 test.
Cllr Piers Allen, chair of the adult social care and housing committee, and chair of the Richmond health and wellbeing board, added that newspaper reports containing lists of authorities at risk of going into lockdown was “grossly irresponsible”.
Nevertheless he said that it would “be naive to suggest that we haven’t got any local cases.”
“We want to rid our borough of coronavirus – and we can only do this if residents play their part.
“Should we ever be in a position where we do have a local outbreak, we will be publishing our plan later this week on how we would work with our local partners to respond.”
A spokesperson for Wandsworth council confirmed the same, but said the council would not be releasing a statement.
Professor Kevin Fenton, London Regional Director for Public Health England added that the number of new cases of coronavirus in the capital is “under close, active surveillance” and that “small fluctuations day by day are to be expected.”
He said: “The increases in some boroughs that have been reported are mainly sporadic and are being uncovered as we scale up testing and contact tracing activity across the city.
“Importantly, the overall levels of coronavirus in London remain low and steady. We’re working closely with all local authorities to prepare for and manage any potential local clusters and outbreaks and our epidemiological analysis will play an important role identifying if there is a significant sustained increase in the community,” he added.
“As we carefully emerge from lockdown, it is important now more than ever that Londoners continue to follow government advice on social distancing, self-isolation, wearing face coverings, and practicing good hand hygiene, in order to keep the number of new cases in London on its way down. If you have a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change to your sense of smell or taste, stay at home and arrange a test immediately.”
Sian Bayley - Local Democracy Reporter
July 2, 2020
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