Stats show rate of rise in Covid rates locally

Hackney has seen a reduction in the number of tests being carried out. Picture: PA/Wire

A Hackney doctor has advised people to get vaccinated as Covid cases rise in Hackney and Islington. - Credit: PA/Wire

Hackney and Islington have seen a less dramatic increase in Covid cases in contrast to a much steeper rise nationally. 

The latest figures from the week ending October 19, show that Islington had a weekly incidence rate of 213 Covid cases per 100,000. That is up from the previous week of 189 per 100,000. 

Hackney and the City saw fewer cases, 188 per 100,000, up from 164 the previous week. Both borough's rates are considerably lower than the national rate of 485 per 100,000 people. 

Hackney has the second lowest incidence rate in London and Islington the seventh. 

And while cases are beginning to rise, they have, for the last few months, been dropping after a peak in cases in July. 

Deaths from Covid in both boroughs remain low, with zero Covid deaths being registered in Hackney last week and one reported in Islington the previous week. 

Deaths from all causes remain below the five year average in Hackney and Islington.

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The national picture however shows a a steep rise in cases, rising from a seven-day average of more than 33,000 for the week ending October 6 to over 47,000 for the week ending October 23. 

Over the last two days there was a small drop in cases. 

Deaths in the country remain low with 38 registered on October 25. 

Dr Sandra Husbands, director of public health in Hackney said: “We can’t say for certain whether cases are going to increase further or not, but infection rates are rising all over the country and it seems likely that they will rise locally too, and that’s what we are preparing for."

"We are continuing to advise local people and businesses to continue with as many Covid measures as they can, so that, hopefully, we can avoid Plan B altogether."

Health groups such as the NHS Confederation and the British Medical Association have criticised the government for not immediately implementing Plan B, which would see extra measures and stricter Covid restrictions put in place.

Boris Johnson announced last week that if the NHS comes under "unsustainable pressure" Plan B will be implemented.

The government's Plan A involves encouraging uptake of Covid booster and flu jabs.

Dr Husbands added: "Everyone has the power to help keep themselves and their community safe, and get back to normal faster by doing three simple things.

"Firstly getting the Covid-19 vaccination, secondly getting tested regularly using a lateral flow test twice a week, and thirdly by continuing to take the necessary precautions and remembering: hands, face, space, fresh air.”

“Cases are rising, but the majority of those in hospital seriously ill due to Covid-19 are unvaccinated. Our best, single defence against the virus, and to protect the NHS from being overwhelmed, is to ensure we have our Covid-19 vaccine, including the booster for those that are eligible.

“The vaccine is safe and effective and I’ve had all of mine. Don’t delay, make sure to book your vaccination appointment as soon as possible and help keep Hackney safe.”

Muhi Mikdad also volunteers with St John's Ambulance administering Covid jabs. 

A man receives his Covid vaccination. - Credit: Muhi Mikdad

Recent data shows that across north east London around 90 per cent of people in intensive care due to Covid-19 have not been full vaccinated and across the country nearly all (99.5pc) of the deaths due to Covid were in unvaccinated people.

Dr Jagan John, GP and Chair of North East London Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is working to deliver vaccinations in Hackney and other boroughs, says winter is always a challenging time for the NHS. 

The doctor added: “We want to help our residents stay well by having their vaccinations as there could be a significant flu surge this winter, coinciding with rising Covid-19 cases.

“This is due to a combination of cold weather, more indoor socialising and expected lower immunity because, due to lockdown restrictions, fewer people caught flu last year. If you have flu and Covid-19 at the same time, research shows you're more likely to be seriously ill.

“Covid has not gone away and for the first time we will have Covid-19 and flu circulating together. They both spread easily, cause hospitalisation, and can both be fatal. It is really important that people get their vaccines as soon as they can.

“Also, if you haven’t had your first Covid-19 vaccine, now really is the time."

Islington council have not yet responded for comment.