Hospital Issues Warning as Omicron Comes to Wandsworth

One case of new strain of Covid identified in borough

St. George's Hospital
St. George's Hospital

A local hospital boss has warned locals to stay Covid-safe as the Omicron variant spreads across London.

It comes as Wandsworth recorded one case of the new variant this week as the UK Health Security Agency leads an ongoing investigation.

Currently there are 22 cases of the Omicron variant in the UK, with nine in London, according to the agency.

St George’s Hospital Trust in Tooting’s hospital boss said it’s “even more important” now to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

The trust strongly urges the public to follow government rules on wearing masks, wash hands often, do regular Covid tests and get vaccinated.

All these provide the “best protection” against all strains of coronavirus as well as the flu.

Government data reveals the London borough of Wandsworth, where the hospital sits, has the third highest infection rate in London. Richmond and Sutton are first and second.

But hospital admissions remain low compared to the peak of the pandemic with 32 in St George’s with coronavirus and three on ventilators as of 23 November, according to the government dashboard.

Over 5,200 people have been in the hospital with Covid since the pandemic started.

Dr Richard Jennings, chief medical officer at St George’s, said, “Following national guidance on mask wearing in crowded places such as on public transport, regularly washing hands, doing regular lateral flow testing and receiving your Covid-19 and flu vaccines remains the best protection against all forms of Covid-19 and flu while supporting NHS staff.

“In light of the new variant, these steps are even more important to reduce the spread of infection this winter.”

Dr Richard Jennings, chief medical officer at St George’s Hospital
Dr Richard Jennings, chief medical officer at St George’s Hospital

He added: “If you need medical care but it isn’t an emergency, please call or access NHS 111 online before attending our emergency department as often there are more appropriate NHS services available to you which can be quicker, such as your GP or local pharmacy.”

Wandsworth’s director of public health Shannon Katiyo said, “I want to reassure people in Wandsworth that we have good measures in place for dealing with variants and these are working well.

“The council will continue to do everything we can to keep residents safe and encourage them to maintain good hand hygiene, wear face coverings when required, get tested, and get vaccinated.”

James Mayer - Local Democracy Reporter

December 1, 2021