Last week 901 Havering residents tested positive for COVID-19

 That’s an average of 129 new cases per day and explains why Havering has the highest infection rate in London and a higher rate than our neighbours in Essex.

As night follows day, rising infections are followed by an increase in hospital admissions and, then a week or two later, more deaths. Don’t be fooled by those who claim this awful coronavirus only affects the very elderly. Of the 15 deaths we had in Havering last week, four were in the 40 – 64 year old age group.

This is a critical time in the long fight against this coronavirus and we must all do our bit to minimise its spread. Stay at home as much as you can and follow the guidance.

We must do more and the responsibility rests on all of us. If we carry on as we are, some predictive models give us a 95 per cent probability of being at 500 cases per 100,000 people by the first week in December.

If that happens I can see no prospect of current restrictions ending: rather they will need to get stronger. That is not a prospect I look forward to, but it may be necessary.