Two in five people in Redbridge may have had Covid, data shows

People who know they are breaking the rules but still do it are selfish says letter writer Elaine Al

Two in five people in Redbridge may have had Covid-19, according to an analysis by Edge Health. - Credit: PA

Two in five people may have had Covid in Redbridge, an analysis has shown.

The study by Edge Health suggests the percentage of cases in the borough is six times higher than the seven per cent recorded by January 3.

The analysis estimates there have been 131,000 infections out of a population of about 305,000, equivalent to 43 per cent, since the pandemic began. This represent the fourth highest percentage in England after Barking and Dagenham, Newham and Thurrock.

Redbridge Council leader, Cllr Jas Athwal, said: "We currently have the second-highest infection rate in the country. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to please follow the current guidance, stay home, protect the NHS, and save lives.

"The chief medical officer has warned the NHS is dealing with the most dangerous situation in living history. The most frightening aspect is people of all ages are dying from the virus. We should all do everything we can to protect our NHS. We must stop any unnecessary contact and think carefully every time we leave the house. 

"There is light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine, but we must remain vigilant until we're told otherwise. We will get through this, but there is still a lot of work to do and further sacrifices we must make before returning to some normality.

"Before the pandemic is over, thousands more will sadly die. Please do everything you can to make sure you and the people you love are here to see a time after Covid." 

Redbridge council leader Cllr Jas Athwal speaking at the Memorial Stone in Valentines Park to mark t

Redbridge Council leader, Cllr Jas Athwal, said the borough currently has the second highest infection rate in the country. - Credit: Ken Mears

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Edge Health's research suggests as many as one in five people, or 12.4 million, in England have had Covid, which is significantly higher than the 2.4m reported cases from Public Health England.

Total cases were estimated by looking at each local authority’s Covid-related deaths as published by the Office for National Statistics and their estimated infection fatality ratio.

This is calculated by looking at a local authority’s age profile and applying age-specific infection fatality ratios from University of Cambridge research.

George Batchelor, Edge Health's co-founder and director, said: “It is incredible that the level of understanding of where and how infections are occurring is not greater at this stage, since it would allow control measures to be more targeted.

“Even with imminent vaccinations, it is crucial to develop this understanding so that future variants of the virus can be effectively controlled and managed.”