Update about Coronavirus (Covid-19): She was 5-years old as 708 deaths in the UK confirmed the highest number so far reported in a single day - From Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz 4 April 2020

Update about Coronavirus (Covid-19): 708 deaths in the UK confirmed, the highest number so far reported in a single day - From Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz 4 April 2020

​​Dear Newham Resident,

While someone in our borough listened to the birds, basked in some momentary sunshine and breathed fresh air during their allocated one-hour of exercise this morning; do you think they could have imagined that later in the day we’d be hearing the news of the youngest victim of coronavirus, with underlying health conditions, was just five-years old?

News of her death came as Public Health England reported an additional 708 deaths this morning, the highest rise in deaths in one day since the outbreak began. Bringing the total who have died because of Covid-19 in the UK to 4313.

In London there was a total of 10,764 confirmed cases of people infected with the virus reported today. In Newham, the number of people confirmed with the virus now stands at 412 - up 3 from yesterday.

As I send my condolences to the families affected by this devastation and a speedy recovery for all those infected, these numbers serve as a tragic reminder of the importance of #StayAtHome: to delay the spread of the virus, help the NHS and save lives.

But these numbers also serve as a call to brace ourselves in the coming weeks as coronavirus cases and deaths will rise day by day.

Like many, I’ve been calling for more and more testing to be done, including community testing but I know we need the infrastructure in place to make this work. That’s why today, I spent time reading the government’s strategy for how it’s going to scale up testing programmes to provide a test to anyone who needs one. This was announced by the Health Secretary last Thursday with the goal of getting to 100,000 tests by the end of April. 

The strategy was published earlier this afternoon, and you can read it here​ (PDF)

Finally, as we settle in for the evening, I wanted to end with a personal thank you to a local resident who reached out to me earlier this week. She spoke of her mother who had recently passed away because of Covid-19; and told me how she and her other family members couldn’t be together in this moment of grief because of their need to separately self-isolate.

Then in a moment that showed her grace and humanity, she offered me her number to share with anyone in Newham who is in the same position as her and wanted to talk.

So tonight as I think about the coming days, weeks and months ahead contending with the impact of coronavirus in Newham, I’ll be praying for her comfort during this time of personal pain, sadness and grief.

Stay safe and stay well.

Published: 04 Apr 2020