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Redbridge joins London-wide campaign to boost awareness of coronavirus testing

PUBLISHED: 07:00 31 July 2020

A coronavirus testing site. Picture: PA/Jane Barlow

A coronavirus testing site. Picture: PA/Jane Barlow

PA Wire/PA Images

A London-wide campaign to raise awareness of Covid-19 testing and contact tracing has launched in Redbridge.

Keep London Safe — a collaboration between London Councils and all 32 boroughs — comes after a June poll found that 46 per cent of Londoners don’t know how to get a test.

The YouGov survey of more than 1,000 adults — commissioned by the Greater London Authority (GLA) — also revealed that 35pc know little or nothing about NHS Test and Trace.

These findings motivated Redbridge Council leader Councillor Jas Athwal to involve the borough in the campaign, with key public health messages soon to be visible throughout the area.

He said: “I cannot stress enough how important is that we all continue to do whatever is necessary to keep the number of Covid-19 cases down in Redbridge and across the rest of London.

“We’re still on a real knife-edge, and we mustn’t forget that. You only have to look at other regions in the UK or to our neighbouring countries to see how delicate the balance is.”

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Alongside the GLA, the campaign is also backed by Public Health England (PHE), the NHS, and London mayor Sadiq Khan.

Locally, the aim is to encourage people to use the walk-through testing facility now open every day in Ilford’s Mildmay Road car park.

Cllr Mark Santos, cabinet member for health, social care, mental health and the ageing, hopes that having this will further increase awareness.

He said: “We’ve come a long way in the past few months, and we need to keep the momentum up. Please ensure you follow all the current public health advice to keep safe.”

The campaign also seeks to address other survey findings, such as black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) Londoners being the least likely to know how to get a test, alongside those over the age of 65.

Beyond knowledge of testing, the poll revealed that a quarter of Londoners wouldn’t use a contact tracing app, with privacy concerns the main reason for this reluctance.

Recent data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed Redbridge to be in mid-table for coronavirus death rate, with the borough placing 15th out of the 32 boroughs.

Call 119 or visit nhs.uk/coronavirus to order a coronavirus test.


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