MP Sounds Alarm on Hammersmith and Fulham Infection Rate

Greg Hands says he is very concerned at latest figures

Greg Hands says he is very concerned at latest figures
Greg Hands MP. Picture: Parliament UK

People need to keep on following the safety rules as the number of coronavirus cases in west London increases, according to a local MP.

Chelsea and Fulham MP Greg Hands said he was “very concerned” by the rates of the pandemic.

The latest figures show that Hammersmith and Fulham has a rate of 200 cases per 100,000 people. The detailed geographic information suggests the Hammersmith Broadway area has the highest rate of infection in London but the council have declined to give an explanation as to why this might be.

The overall rate in England in the week to October 22 was 215. London has an average rate of 147 – up from 108 per 100,000 the previous week.

London moved from medium to high alert or Tier 2 on October 15 just before the half term break.

And the borough recorded 59 new cases by Monday (October 26), with a total so far of 2,113 out of the 89,021 cases recorded in London.

There have been 114 deaths from coronavirus in the borough, since the pandemic started in March.

The rise across London has also seen more coronavirus patients admitted to hospital with 738 patients currently on wards, including 116 on ventilators.

The previous week there were 549 in-patients, with 88 on them on ventilators.

Medics at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust are caring for 13 people on ventilators, out of 55 coronavirus inpatients, according to their latest figures on Wednesday (28 October).

The trust includes Fulham’s Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith Hospital and St Mary’s in Paddington.

19 people died in London on 27 October, with 6,650 deaths in London hospitals since the start of the pandemic.

Ben Coleman, the council’s cabinet member for health and adult social care said that it’s thought the number of cases has gone up due to more tests being done, including mobile testing at Westfield.

And the council thinks 100 cases have been diagnosed privately in the borough – but could include people who live elsewhere.

Councillor Coleman said he thought a two to three week circuit break to help stop the spread and “devolve” the national track and trace system to local councils.

Hammersmith and Fulham is one of the London councils which is doing local contact tracing. Councillor Coleman said it is reaching 90 per cent of the “unreachables” who have tested positive. The team are doing welfare checks as well as asking people about their contacts.

Mr Hands told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that the number of people following safety rules, including face coverings has gone up in the borough recently.

He stressed that it is crucial to follow the #HandsFaceSpace guidance to help stop the spread of the contagion.

“We need to make sure that we all protect each other by following the rules.”

He added: “I am very concerned about the rise in rates locally, nationally and internationally. “

Councillor Coleman said people need to understand why they need to wear face coverings – to protect people from droplets they breathe out which could contain the virus.

And he urged residents to contact their councillors with concerns about any customer- facing businesses which are not encouraging people to wear face coverings unless they are exempt and follow the other safety rules.

He said most businesses are responsible, but “no one should think they are special when it comes to following Covid rules”.

“The rules are simple – you need to wear a mask if you are running a customer-facing business. I do not want bad businesses undermining good ones.”

Julia Gregory - Local Democracy Reporter

October 29, 2020