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Council announces new Redbridge Community Ambassador scheme and local test and trace service to help tackle coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 12:00 29 October 2020

Council leader Jas Athwal chaired a public meeting on keeping Redbridge safe from coronavirus as winter nears. Picture: Roy Chacko

Council leader Jas Athwal chaired a public meeting on keeping Redbridge safe from coronavirus as winter nears. Picture: Roy Chacko

Archant

As the coronavirus infection rate continues to climb in Redbridge the council held a series of public meetings to highlight what needs to be done to get the virus under control.

Cllr Jamal Uddin chaired a separate meeting with the Centre for British Bangladeshis to raise awareness amongst the BAME communities, particularly those from a Bangladeshi ethnic origin. Picture: Dr Jamal UddinCllr Jamal Uddin chaired a separate meeting with the Centre for British Bangladeshis to raise awareness amongst the BAME communities, particularly those from a Bangladeshi ethnic origin. Picture: Dr Jamal Uddin

On Monday, October 26 the council held a meeting with the Centre for British Bangladeshis, specifically targeted at the borough’s large Bangladeshi population. It was chaired by Cllr Dr Jamal Uddin (Lab, Clayhall).

The following day there was a wider public meeting chaired by council leader Jas Athwal, director of public health Gladys Xavier and Cllr Mark Santos, cabinet member for health, social care, mental health and the ageing.

At Tuesday’s meeting it was announced that starting next week the council will be more closely involved with the test and trace service that is being run nationally by the Department of Health and Social Care.

Ms Xavier said that since the numbers are so high nationally the local test and trace team, which is more connected to the community, will be better able to provide a level of guidance and support that should hopefully see a greater compliance for those who need to self-isolate.

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Cllr Santos said: “Self isolating is the only way we’re going to break the onward chain of transmission and we know this is tough for some people so we will support you.”

The new Redbridge Community Ambassador scheme was announced as well, where volunteers will be notified with important health messages that they are asked to spread to their wider social groups.

Cllr Uddin stressed that although he is concerned about the government handling of Covid-19, we all have a responsibility to help tackle the crisis.

A number of residents asked about shops where staff and customers aren’t wearing masks and venues that are holding illegal gatherings of more than 15 people.

Cllr Athwal said enforcement teams were out monitoring shops and handing out masks in some cases but if you spot illegal gatherings the first thing you should do is call police on 101 and then phone the council’s reporting hotline at 020 8554 5000.

He said: “There’s no excuse for it and it’s not snitching, it’s saving lives.”


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