Covid infection rate among Tower Hamlets’ young people ‘particularly high’

The poorest areas of the borough still have higher number of cases than average.

The poorest areas of the borough still have higher number of cases than average. - Credit: Archant

Tower Hamlets is seeing “significant” outbreaks of coronavirus in its most deprived areas and in student halls, the council has heard.

The committee was shown the areas which still have high numbers of Covid cases.

The committee was shown the areas which still have high numbers of Covid cases. - Credit: Archant

Last week the borough’s Overview and Scrutiny committee was told the rates of those with Covid-19 being admitted to hospital were falling in the borough and it may have reached the “peak” of the second wave.

However, the poorest areas of Tower Hamlets still have a higher number of cases than average.

“We are still seeing a significant deprivation gradient, so higher levels in the most deprived groups,” said Tower Hamlets director of public health Dr Somen Banerjee.

“Over the past two weeks the rate of increase in Tower Hamlets raised faster than elsewhere. When we looked at that and broke it down by age what we found was that in most age bands the trends were similar to the rest of London.


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“But in the 16 to 29-year-olds those rates were particularly high. There are particularly high rates of increase partially linked to some of the outbreaks we have seen in student halls of residents. But there were some parts of the borough where we saw high rates in young people. Limehouse was a particular hotspot.”

The latest figures show there were 202 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in the week ending November 25. The average area in England had 135.

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Staff at the borough’s three main Covid-19 testing facilities – at the Art Pavilion in Mile End, Watney Market and Jack Dash House – have now administered more than 11,500 tests.

“We are still seeing outbreaks in care home and particularly in student residences,” Dr Banerjee added.

“Some of the have been in Queen Mary’s but some have been private halls with multiple universities, so those have been quite complex. There are some outbreaks in schools but the situation in schools is stabilising.”

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