Hounslow Council dismisses “irresponsible” local lockdown reports

Hounslow Council has dismissed reports of an imminent local coronavirus lockdown as “irresponsible”.

A local lockdown was reported as being just days away this morning, with several newspapers reporting a list of 36 “at-risk” areas, which included LB Hounslow as well as neighbouring boroughs Hammersmith & Fulham, Ealing and Harrow. Sky News reported this morning that further local lockdowns were just ‘days away’.

The speculation was based on the most recent figures from Public Health England. The weekly Notification of Infectious Diseases shows an increase in the rate of infection last week (ending 28 June) over the previous week.

‘Some of the sharpest increases were in London boroughs’ reported the Independent, ‘where the weekly figure rose from 7 to 18 in Hammersmith & Fulham, from 9 to 15 in Hounslow, 5 to 14 in Ealing’. The figures describe the number of cases per 100,000 people over a seven day period.

The Chiswick Calendar asked Hounslow Council for comment. Councillor Candice Atterton, the Cabinet Member for Adults, Social Care and Health said:

“Contrary to irresponsible reports in the media, there has been no significant spike in cases of coronavirus in Hounslow which warrants cause for serious concern or consideration of a local lockdown.

“As lockdown measures continue to be relaxed, and test and trace systems improve, it is very likely that many parts of the country will see increases in cases over the coming weeks. Small fluctuations day by day in different areas are to be expected. The overall levels of coronavirus in London remains low and steady.

“Like all London boroughs, we are working closely with Public Health England with access to the latest data to monitor new cases. We have a robust outbreak control plan in place and are able to quickly identify any need for immediate intervention.”