Saturday, 4 December 2021

As Omicron is detected in a deprived London borough, fears rise

London, United Kingdom – On an overcast day in Newham, a London borough, it looks like business as usual on Green Street as customers buy groceries, jewellery and new South Asian outfits.

But a sense of stoicism is sometimes interrupted by fear as people worry about what another coronavirus wave could mean.

By January this year, COVID-19 mortality rates were about three times higher in Newham – 441 deaths per 100,000 people – the worst-hit London borough, compared with 150 deaths in Camden, the least affected area of the capital.

Everyone’s face here is now covered in line with recent government guidance that made mask-wearing in shops and public transport mandatory once again, as COVID resurges.

On Wednesday night, the borough, one of London’s poorest, suffered a large dose of bad news.

A local health official announced on Twitter that a case of COVID with the new Omicron variant had been detected, and encouraged people to get their vaccines and take regular COVID tests

During the height of the second wave, Barking and Dagenham, Redbridge, and Newham, three neighbouring boroughs in east London, saw the country’s highest infection rates.

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