COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Harlow

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AS THE nation came out of a second national lockdown, COVID cases are still rising in Harlow as the town has faced the largest week-on-week spike in England. Not only that, data has shown a huge rise in the R rate of infection in Harlow with residents being urged to stay safe and follow government guidelines.

According to the latest studies published by YourHarlow, there have been a total of 190 case of coronavirus across the whole of Harlow between November 22 and 28 compared with nearby Sawbridgeworth and Bishops Stortford which had just 14 & 58 cases respectively during that time. As of December 3, the current infection rate of Harlow is at 244 cases per 100,000 as the town narrowly avoided going into tier three due to the spike.

Harlow Council Leader Mark Ingall said: “Harlow’s residents and businesses have done so much over many months to keep our town’s infection rates down, but now is not the time to stop keeping ourselves safe and neither is it a time to be complacent. We must focus on staying safe, taking care and continuing to do our bit indoors and outdoors to stop the spread.

“Because if we don’t the reality is that as a town we face tighter restrictions, which no one wants. If we all socially distance we know we can reduce the spread of this virus. Equally we can also stop this virus spreading by self-isolating if we have symptoms and getting tested” concluded Cllr. Ingall.

Although COVID cases are on the up, there has been a breakthrough in a potential vaccine with the newly approved Pfizer jab which could potentially reach UK care homes later this month. Many have expressed their desire in wanting to take the vaccination in a hope that life may soon get back to normal.

Carol Leach, who is a Bishops Stortford resident, said: “I will definitely be taking the vaccine. I know people working within the medical field and I have talked to them about it. This vaccine has not just happened. Researchers have been working on it ever since SARS, so research has been ongoing for some while. I can’t wait to get back to Majorca where I have an apartment. I’m aged 71 and I want to start living my life again.”

Another person who is hopeful of getting the vaccine is Claire Moir of Saffron Walden, who is on day 12 of suffering from coronavirus and has developed some minor breathing problems.

She said: “I was quite ill for a few days. I am out of bed now but I definitely think that it is affecting my lungs. I would say you need a good pair of lungs to fight this and for someone who has malfunctioning lungs it would be a really terrible illness.

Although people should not take the vaccine while currently suffering from Covid, it is recommended after they have it once they have recovered because it is believed that vaccination creates a better immune response.

“I will definitely be taking the vaccine when it is offered to me” concluded Claire.

However, despite many wanting to take the COVID vaccine, there have been others who are opposed to to all vaccinations,. known as anti-vaxxers, and some who are simply concerned at the speed of the trials of the latest vaccinations.

Thomas Scully said: “I’m not against vaccinations in any other scenario but with the current COVID vaccines, I do not find there to be sufficient evidence it is safe. Despite assurances no corners have been cut, there is no explanation of how a process that usually takes decades to assure safety can be completed in less than a year. I do not see evidence that the vaccine is safe in the long term.”

Thomas concluded: “I would, however, love to be vaccinated from COVID-19. I do think a lot more people would be up for the vaccine if there was an emphasis on informing the public how the safety process has been altered and the controls and innovation that means safety hasn’t been compromised.”

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Matt North

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