International travel largely to blame for rise in coronavirus cases among young adults in Wandsworth

By Sian Bayley, Local Democracy Reporter

Coronavirus infections among young people in Wandsworth are contributing to a rise in the borough’s Covid rate.

Official data released by Public Health England shows that between August 17 and August 23 the borough’s coronavirus rate rose to 17.2 per 100,000 – up from 10.4 the week before.

Wandsworth council also released figures which showed that people under 40 – especially those in their 20s – account for many of the new cases.

Last week there were 51 new cases compared to 27 the week before, in the borough.

The council also said that Wandsworth had the fifth highest testing rate in London (1,046 per 100,000 residents) last week.

But a higher percentage of people tested positive for the virus – 2.1 per cent of those tested, compared to 1.2 per cent the week before.

Recent cases are predominantly among young people from a white ethnic background aged 18-39, and many are related to international travel, according to a council statement.

Cllr Melanie Hampton, the council’s cabinet member for adult social care and health, said: “If you are young I understand that you want to meet your friends, and that your chances of being seriously ill from Covid are slight, but after your picnic or party you could be coming into contact with dozens of people who are vulnerable – on the bus, in a shop or people that you live with.

“You may not even notice you even have the disease, but I can assure you if an elderly person or someone with a long-term health condition catches it off you, then they probably will.

“We’ve all seen the news reports of the rise in cases in Europe, and we must do all we can to prevent that from happening here.

“We all went through so much during the lockdown to get this disease under control. We mustn’t allow numbers to creep up again by becoming complacent about social distancing.

“Keep your distance, wash your hands, wear a mask in shops and on public transport and avoid large gatherings. Let’s work together and protect each other.”


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