Hackney residents warned to take precautions as Covid cases rise

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

A rise in Covid cases has sparked concern among health officials - Credit: PA/Wire

Following the lifting of the remaining COVID-19 restrictions, cases in Hackney are beginning to rise again and public health experts are warning there could be “significant difficulties” in the future.

Residents are being warned to be on their guard and carry on taking precautions to protect themselves and others from the virus.

City and Hackney’s deputy director of public health Chris Lovitt said the number of cases has soared by 30 per cent, with 1,085 cases, over the first week of March.

“There has been a very strong about-turn in the figures,” he warned.

This is “against a background of really significant figures across Europe and also across London” where there has been a 49pc increase in the number of Covid cases of all ages, and for the sixty plus age group, a 51pc increase.

This followed a decrease in January and February, although cases were still much higher than this time last year.

At the beginning of March 2021, there were 29 cases per 100,000 people in City and Hackney – this jumped to 300 cases per 100,000 residents for the same week this year.

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Mr Lovitt said the increase was affecting people of all ages.

He said vaccination has broken the link between large numbers of Covid cases and people being treated hospital for the most severe cases.

There were 27 patients with Covid at the Homerton Hospital in the week ending March 8 – with three of them on ventilators. The previous week staff cared for 21 patients there, including four on ventilators.

The highest number of cases since April 2021 was recorded in the first week of January, when there were 97 Covid patients in the Homerton, including four on ventilators.

Mr Lovitt said: “There are now some really strong signals that hospitalisation rates are going up.”

It is thought this is partly because natural immunity does not give people with “particularly effective protection from serious infections” from the omicron variant and because the ”good immunity” from serious illness from the booster will be waning for some people.

The numbers of people getting vaccinated is also tailing off – and Hackney has one of the lowest rates of vaccination in England.

In Hackney 64pc of people over 16 had their first dose, 59pc have been vaccinated twice and 41pc had their third dose or booster.