Kensington and Chelsea council leader “concerned” over spike in coronavirus cases

By Julia Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter

The leader of Kensington and Chelsea council has said she is “concerned” about an increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the borough.

Medics carried out the largest number of coronavirus tests in Kensington and Chelsea this weekend as part of an urgent response to an increase in cases.

It was the first urgent testing unit in London and saw 400 people get tested outside Kensington Town Hall.

The borough has the highest current rate of cases in London, with 38 cases reported in the week up to September 1, relating to a rate of 24.3 per 100,000.

Although the rate is not yet at a level where a local lockdown would be considered, where it has to be above 40 per 100,000, the figure is above the 20 per 100,000 which the government uses to guide it over whether travel restrictions should be imposed to and from different countries.

Kensington and Chelsea council leader Elizabeth Campbell urged residents to stay vigilant to keep it that way.

She stressed: “Our rate is still far below the figure where a local lockdown along the lines of Leicester or Manchester would be considered, but we are concerned.

“We need everyone to take extra care to limit the spread of the virus in our community and protect family, friends and neighbours. The last thing we want is to throw away sacrifices we all made during lockdown.”

There were 14 more cases in the small borough last week compared with the week before.

It follows an increase in cases throughout the month, from seven at the beginning of August, with 19 confirmed in each of the following two weeks, and 34 at the end of the month.

Neighbouring Hammersmith and Fulham had the second highest rate in London, at 20 cases per 100,000 residents. There were 37 cases last week, up by two from the week before.

An estimated 85 per cent of confirmed cases are amongst the 20 to 30-year-olds.

Across London rates are rising in that age group as more and more people get tested. It’s also thought they are more likely to be out socialising.

The twice-weekly testing unit is also in the borough this Friday from 10.30am until3.30pm.

Pictured top: The test centre at the weekend


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