Covid-19 Infections in Merton Spreading to Elderly

Early cases in second wave had been mainly confined to younger age groups

November 4, 2020

The ‘worrying’ trend that coronavirus cases are increasing in the over sixties was discussed by Merton Council this Tuesday night (3November).

Public health director at the council, Dagmar Zeuner, outlined the current situation in the borough.

For the week ending October 28 there were 150 cases per 100,000 people recorded – based on data collected in the official Government dashboard.

Compared to the rest of London, Merton falls around the middle of the boroughs, with Hammersmith and Fulham at the top with 221 cases per 100,000 and Lewisham at the bottom with 107 cases per 100,000.

Dr Zeuner said that although cases are still on the up the increase is not as dramatic as in previous weeks.

She said, “The slightly better news over the weekend is that the very steep increase seems to level off a little bit.

“The cases are still very much on the up so I wouldn’t say we are on the home and dry.”

Initially when the cases in the capital started to increase in October, this was in the younger population, but Dr Zeuner warned that cases are now increasing in the older population.

Between October 15-21 there were 53 cases per 100,000 people in the over 60s category.

Dr Zeuner said, “It starts to bleed into the older age groups, that is what worries us because that is where the harm comes into the equation.

“We are trying to understand [why it it spreading in the over 60s] but we do think that the middle band, the working age adults might play a role.

“They are in contact with school children and those often also have caring responsibility for their elderly relatives.

“Once the infection is circulating in the working age group it often goes into the over 60s group.”

There have so far been 207 deaths of people who tested positive for Covid-19 in Merton.

Just one of these deaths, which was in hospital, has been recorded in this second wave of the pandemic.

Tara O'Connor - Local Democracy Reporter