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Havering Council leader worried local Covid restrictions could be extended

Cllr Damian White is asking local residents to help minimise the spread

The leader of Havering Council has issued a stark warning about coronavirus, saying he is concerned local lockdown restrictions may be extended if cases continue to rise.

The national lockdown in England is due to end on Wednesday, 2 December, but Cllr Damian White says rising case numbers mean Havering could face restrictions beyond that date.

In an email to residents, he has called on local residents to stay at home and follow government guidance to minimise the spread of the virus.

In his email, Cllr White said: “Last week, 901 Havering residents tested positive for Covid-19. That’s an average of 129 new cases per day and explains why Havering has the highest infection rate in London and a higher rate than our neighbours in Essex.

“As night follows day, rising infections are followed by an increase in hospital admissions and, then a week or two later, more deaths.

“Don’t be fooled by those who claim this awful coronavirus only affects the very elderly. Of the 15 deaths we had in Havering last week, four were in the 40 to 64-year-old age group.

“This is a critical time in the long fight against this coronavirus and we must all do our bit to minimise its spread. Stay at home as much as you can and follow the guidance.

“We must do more and the responsibility rests on all of us. If we carry on as we are, some predictive models give us a 95 per cent probability of being at 500 cases per 100,000 people by the first week in December.

“If that happens, I can see no prospect of current restrictions ending: rather they will need to get stronger. That is not a prospect I look forward to, but it may be necessary.”

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