New Covid isolation scheme in Newham and other stories

Newham Council has announced a plan to put people testing positive for Covid-19 into hotels with all bills paid, to stop the spread of the virus in overcrowded households.

London Borough of Newham | Source: Gordon Joly on Flickr

London’s Asian communities are some of worst impacted by the second wave of Covid 19.

This scheme is the first of its kind set up by a local authority in the country and has been put in place with the intention of driving down the infection rate in areas where residents are made up of multiple generations of family members and house-sharers living under one roof.

Director of Public Health, Jason Strelitz, has said that the council have procured two sites – a “hot” hotel for people who have tested positive for the virus and a “cold” site for those who test negative but live with someone who has the virus.

During the first wave of the pandemic more residents died in Newham than any other local authority; Newham now has more testing sites than any other London borough and has requested that residents get tested twice per week.

Newham Mayor, Rokhsana Fiaz, has said the scheme will ensure that Newham residents “are well and safe” and has highlighted the importance of a support system for people in isolation.

Lowest record of subjects in MET gang matrix

As a result of the review ordered by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the number of names in the Metropolitan Police gang violence matrix has dropped by 40% from the peak of 3,811 reached in August 2017.

It’s the lowest figure in seven years.

A police officer writing a report | Source: Getty Images

More than 1,000 black men under 25 have been removed from the MET database after they were assessed as posing little or no risk of committing violence.

The matrix has been accused of racial discrimination since its creation in 2011, with figures showing 80% of people on the database are black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME).

London’s Mayor said that the matrix had now become “more transparent, effective and more evidence-based”.

But Susan Hall AM, leader of the Greater London Authority Conservatives, said Londoners would be “rightly concerned that while violent crime soared to record levels, Khan was removing checks from more than a thousand potential gang members”.

MPs condemn video of Professor Chris Whitty verbally attacked

Tory MP Matt Vickers has shared and condemned footage showing England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty being verbally attacked by a stranger in central London.

Professor Chris Whitty | Source: “Prof Chris Whitty” by Gresham College is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

In the video, which has been uploaded to Tik Tok undated, a young man repeatedly calls Mr Whitty a “liar” and continues saying “you lie about the Covid-19 cases… stop lying to the TV, man”.

Professor Whitty, who appeared to be waiting for his lunch order at a stall, did not respond to the man and put his mask on.

On BBC Breakfast, Health Secretary Matt Hancock declared that the man who filmed Professor Whitty was “pathetic”, adding that “Chris Whitty is one of our greatest scientists and his advice to the Government all the way through this has been incredibly smart and thoughtful, and he’s a great asset to this nation.”

‘Disguised cop’ charged in fake Covid-19 fines scam

A man has been charged with blackmail and impersonating a police officer after being spotted trying to con two elderly women in a coronavirus fines scam near Stratford Centre last Friday.

Stratford Centre| “London Olympic Park” by Bert Seghers marked with CC0 1.0

The perpetrator approached the pensioners accusing them of breaching Covid-19 regulations and ordered them to pay a £500 fine immediately. 

While the man was escorting the victims to a cash point, he was caught in the act by MET police officers who arrested him.

“Thankfully officers were on scene and quickly dealt with this incident”, said Vince Fedder, Detective Inspector from the Met’s North East Criminal Investigation Unit.

He added : “However the public needs to be aware that some people may well see the current emergency as an opportunity to exploit others.”

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