Update about Coronavirus (COVID-19): Reckless Behaviour is costing lives and a Nightingale in Newham - From Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz

​​Dear Newham Resident.

As the number of cases of coronavirus in Newham continue to rise, with 76 confirmed as of this evening, I’m sorry to report that some residents in our borough continue to put people’s lives at risk by their reckless behaviour.

By flouting the stringent restrictions on movement and social gatherings, announced by the Prime Minister last night, they are undermining the heroic efforts of our NHS workers and being very selfish.

All of us have a role to play in minimising the spread of the coronavirus – as its catastrophic impact in our borough will be unimaginable.

The sheer scale and speed of the spread of the virus in London has been breath-taking and has led to hospitals being forced to declare “critical incidents” which means the pressure on beds and staff has reached breaking point in the Capital. There are now more than 2,800 confirmed cases of coronavirus in London, and in the last 24 hours there’s been an increase of 439 cases.

That’s why the NHS will be opening an emergency field hospital in Newham’s Royal Docks next week, called the Nightingale Hospital, which will welcome an initial 500 patients.  It’s also why Newham Police now have special dispersal authorisation for the next 48 hours which means they can move people on from a specific location and order them not to return.

Please continue to do your bit, follow the rules, and look after each other.

As part of our measures to look after Newham residents being rolled out this week, earlier today the Council announced that it would suspend parking and change some traffic enforcement measures for a temporary period. This will help people, including critical workers and volunteers dropping off food supplies to our most vulnerable, travel around the borough easily.

If you are having difficulty paying your Council Tax due to coronavirus then please contact the Council Tax and Benefits team on 020 8430 2000 who’ll be able to help. Please don’t wait for your account to go into arrears because we want to support you. In the coming days, we’ll be publishing more details of support we have put in place to help residents impacted by the virus; alongside the launch of our Newham Local Hub #HelpNewham, which will marshal the incredible efforts of our residents who make up our amazing volunteer army.

As before, and as always, please follow the NHS advice on how to protect yourselves. NHS 111 also has an online coronavirus service at that can tell you if you need medical help and offers advice on what to do: https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19.​

Stay well and always practice social distance.

Published: 24 Mar 2020