Covid cases surging, as virus claims 1,200th Croydon victim

Just weeks since party-goer Boris Johnson tried to con the nation (again) by making out that covid was somehow “over”, and started removing all government restrictions on mask-wearing and dropping the need for people to self-isolate if testing positive, and so infection rates across the country are soaring, with an additional 1million coronavirus cases reported across the country in the last week.

Official data from the Office for National Statistics show the number of covid-19 infections rose to 4.26million in the seven days to March 19 – up 29.7per cent on the week before.

This is just short of the 4.3million in the first week of 2022, which was the highest total since estimates began.

The sharp rise in infections is due to the Omicron BA.2 variant, a more transmissible form of Omicron.

Under pressure: NHS hospital staff are beginning to see an increase in admissions with covid

The pattern of rapidly increasing infection rates is also seen in figures for Croydon, where for the last seven-day period 2,538 positive cases were reported – up 22per cent on the previous week.

The rolling seven-day totals for Croydon up to March 19 show between 2,400 and 2,500 new infections – at the end of February, before the government decided it was safe to remove restrictions, the infection rate in this borough was near 1,000 per week.

This past week saw covid claim the life of the 1,200th victim in Croydon since the beginning of the pandemic.

Positive cases of coronavirus are close to record levels across England, while they have reached an all-time high in both Scotland and Wales.

The “R rate”, the reproduction ratio which we were advised at the beginning of lockdown had to be kept to less than 1, is now between 1.1 and 1.4, the UK Health Security Agency said.

Earlier this week, Prof Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, warned that the NHS is coming under “significant” pressure amid the rise in covid cases, with hospitalisations likely to continue increasing at least until April.

Prof Whitty said that the sharp resurgence of underlined that the crisis “is not over”.

Speaking at the annual conference of the Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Public Health, Prof Whitty also said those hoping for an “end point” should not expect one, with coronavirus likely to remain a threat to public health for decades.

The disease is rising in every age group – bad news for parents who will have to take more time off to look after their children, and for employers who will see a rise in staff absence.

Data from the UK Health Security Agency also shows hospital admissions in the over 75s are now higher than they were at the peak of the Omicron wave at the start of the year. Such data is likely to reinforce a drive for “spring boosters”, a fifth round of covid jabs, starting with the over-70s and those with special vulnerabilities.

The data being collected now may be underestimating the infection rates, since the government has removed the requirement for people to self-test and report the results.

Indeed, from next week they will be removing free testing availability, even for NHS staff working in hospitals trying to treat patients with the virus.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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5 Responses to Covid cases surging, as virus claims 1,200th Croydon victim

  1. Employees face difficult decisions. Where it is no longer the law to isolate if testing positive, some employees will need to decide whether to stay home and isolate and potentially not get paid, or go to work knowing they are positive but secure in the knowledge they will receive their wages. Some employers don’t pay employees if they take time of sick and therefore cases will continue to rise as people make harsh decisions whether to stay home or put food on the table.

  2. Ian Kierens says:

    The same can be said for seasonal flu. Vulnerable adults in the workplace were regularly exposed to the Flu virus and it led to deaths also – but not on the scale of the first few waves of Covid – 19. We also should consider that Sars covid has been identified from Horseshoe bats in 2005 but not at the contagion level of 2019 to date.
    That this Government failed on many counts to limit the spread is factual as is the gambles they took to enable a vaccine and it’s success.

    But there is employment laws and health,safety and environmental legislation for employers to follow as there are courts to take matters to and Politicians and legislators both local and national will point to those that are in place.

    Unfortunately as we have repeatedly realised in Croydon – just because there is a law, rule legislation etc. does not mean it will be followed and frankly is pretty unlikely to be enforced.

    P.O Dimissals are a prime example of how nationally that works (or not) and Fairfield halls, Brick by Brick errant Councillors Leeson level missing money in Croydon is a typical local example of that.
    Anyone who has been robbed, burgled suffered with crack dens brothels machete wielding nutters and called the police to have the matter closed within an hour also knows exactly what that will mean.
    So as with most poorly run and resourced areas within England and Wales – Kirstie albeit theoretically not accurate is actually spot on totally by dint of administrative and political failure.

    With the current cost of living crisis and the rampant disregard of this Council for residents health and welfare (Shall we mention planning? no that is just a symptom of a greater malaise) it is difficult to see the death rate not being higher by year end irrespective of Mayor.

    There are ways we can minimise this by exercising personal responsibility but again Kirstie is correct that when you have mouths to feed the greater good becomes secondary for many.

  3. Lancaster says:

    Back to the old days then of being bullied into working through illnesses at ones desk while spreading infections endlessly round the office.

  4. Peter Gentleman says:

    About 10% of commuters travelling from Kenley on the morning commuter trains are wearing masks. Such a simple thing to do and it does slow the spread.

    Problem is, how can you expect people who voted for the popularist oafish Johnson to think for themselves?

  5. Colin Cooper says:

    Personally I think the real mistake was the reference to the application of ‘common sense ‘ that the PM made. As we all know no such commodity exists these days of the ‘me, me, me’ generation!😁😁😁😁😁

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