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‘We all need to take responsibility’: Mayor’s message after Newham coronavirus cases confirmed

PUBLISHED: 10:16 16 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:34 16 March 2020

Coronavirus is spreading across the UK. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images

Coronavirus is spreading across the UK. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images

PA Wire/PA Images

The mayor of Newham has written an open letter of reassurance after the first coronavirus case in the borough was confirmed.

There are now three people in Newham who have a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19, with 1,391 cases nationwide.

Rokhsana Fiaz wrote: 'The news that the virus has officially reached us here in Newham is not unexpected, and even before the confirmation I can assure you that we have been working diligently behind the scenes to prepare for what we knew was inevitable.'

On the first case, she said: 'Although we don't have any more detail about this person or how they contracted the virus, I wanted to reassure you all that all of us at the council are working hard, alongside colleagues in the health profession, to do everything in our power to minimise the impact of the spread of this illness.'

She explained that the council was working alongside the NHS to support the nationwide bid to delay the spread of coronavirus.

This included increased cleaning across all the council's sites, including offices, libraries and community centres.

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Ms Fiaz added: 'I would particularly ask Newham residents to think about how to avoid exposing the elderly and vulnerable to risk of infection.

'We all need to take responsibility for one another and that means doing everything we can to reduce the risk of spreading infection.

'We continue to be in close contact with health partners to receive specialist advice so that all the relevant services are well-equipped and ready to respond.

'We are also linking with faith and community groups to help them support their communities to stay safe and reduce risk of spreading infection.

'The safety of residents is - and always will be - paramount.'

The mayor also reiterated the importance of maintaining good personal hygiene by washing hands more regularly and for 20 seconds each time.

Anyone showing symptoms of Covid-19 should self-isolate for seven days, and anyone who has been exposed to a confirmed case or returned from travelling in an affected area should self-isolate for 14 days even if there are no symptoms.

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