Londoners have been warned to get jabbed and to test themselves after being in crowded places after it emerged last night that Lewisham and Greenwich were hotspots for the new Omicron variant of coronavirus.
The Valley in Charlton will become a vaccination centre again before Christmas as public health officials try to slow the spread of the new variant. Jabs are also available in hospitals and pharmacies across south-east London.
Five confirmed cases of Omicron were discovered in Greenwich borough last week, with three in Lewisham, figures from the UK Health Security Agency reveal.
A further nine unconfirmed cases were also found in Greenwich, with 18 in Lewisham.
Put together, Lewisham has the second highest number of confirmed or suspected Omicron cases in England, with Greenwich in fifth.
The highest number is in West Northamptonshire, with Buckinghamshire in fourth, but the rest of the top ten is made up of other London boroughs: Newham, Lambeth, Brent, Hackney, Wandsworth and Croydon. Not all labs can test samples for Omicron, so some parts of the country are not as well covered in the list.
For all variants of Covid-19, the most recent figures show Greenwich now has 514 cases per 100,000 people – up from 315 a week ago. Lewisham has 473 per 100,000 people, up from 334; Bexley also has 514 cases per 100,000 people, compared with 390 a week ago.
The top 10 Local Authorities with Omicron (confirmed or SGTF) cases are:
1. West Northamptonshire (83)
2. Lewisham (26)
3. Buckinghamshire (22)
4. Newham (22)
5. Greenwich (16)
6. Lambeth (16)
7. Brent (14)
8. Hackney (14)
9. Wandsworth (13)
10. Croydon (10) pic.twitter.com/9BgXpYXfsj
— Meaghan Kall (@kallmemeg) December 8, 2021
Last night the Westminster government advised people to work from home from Monday and has made face coverings mandatory for most indoor public venues including places of worship, theatres and cinemas.
Georgia Gould, the head of London Councils, which represents the capital’s 32 town halls, said people should test themselves after being in crowded places, such as the Tube.
“London must once again pull together and draw on the incredible strength and resilience of our communities to deal with the latest resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said. “Working together we can keep London safe.
“Please do come and get vaccinated as soon as you can, whether it is your first, second or booster dose, to ensure you and your loved ones are protected.
“Getting tested regularly, so you know whether or not you have the virus, is also really important, particularly when you’ve been in contact with more people recently – for example, if you’ve travelled on a crowded Tube carriage.”
London mayor Sadiq Khan reiterated the call to get vaccinated and tested. He said: ““The best thing Londoners can do now is to book their Covid-19 vaccine or booster jab as soon as they’re able to. Vaccines have been a game-changer and a life-saver in our fight against Covid-19 and are still our best defence against the virus.”
Booster jabs are currently available to over-40s who had their second coronavirus vaccine more than six months ago – although this delay is being cut to three months to widen the spread of boosters.
Charlton Athletic’s ground will be used for another Vaccination at the Valley event on 18-19 December. Patients can just walk in, or they can book at eventbrite.com.
There are also daily walk-in clinics – Monday to Saturday, 9am to 4pm – at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich and Lewisham Hospital. Guy’s Hospital, next to London Bridge station, is also offering a daily clinic, open until 7pm.
More details of other walk-in clinics, at pharmacies and health centres across the area, are available on the NHS South East London CCG website.
Jabs can also be booked via the NHS national booking service.
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