Opinion: Your health and safety remains our priority

PUBLISHED: 11:53 23 May 2020

Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz is working with all communities to battle Covid-19.

Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz is working with all communities to battle Covid-19.

Andrew Baker

Covid-19 will be disrupting our lives for a long time ahead.

Frustrating as it may seem about not seeing family or friends, for now, the advice I would give to you is the same as I’ve said before. The virus is still with us, so if you can stay at home, you should.

Avoid public transport if possible. It won’t be able to accommodate the numbers it did before Covid-19 hit.

Even if the system is at full capacity, social distancing will mean that only one in 10 people will be able to use it.

Try walking or cycling, which are better options than cars, because bad air quality increases the vulnerability of those with respiratory conditions and makes them more prone to Covid-19 infection.

We have started to widen pavements on high streets to give you extra space to queue outside shops and be able to walk or cycle past at a safe distance.

We are consulting with our disabled residents to make sure the changes don’t impact their ability to get around.

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Your health and safety remains our priority.

We’ve pulled out the stops to protect the most vulnerable and minimise the spread of Covid-19.

We have worked with resident-led mutual aid groups, faith communities and the voluntary sector to feed the most vulnerable – and we are indebted to the thousands of residents who are helping during this public health emergency.

We’ve collected bins and swept the streets; stopped retailers trading illegally; supported children with special educational needs and offered youth services through Zoom.

The impact of Covid-19 on our children and young people is an area we are tackling through working with our youth workers, schools and parent groups.

On Monday evening I joined a group of young people accessing our youth services digitally during lockdown.

They spoke about their hopes and their fears, missing their friends and being able to go out freely (plus how boring being stuck at home with parents is getting and too much school work still!).

We will come through this together. I hope you and your loved ones stay safe.

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