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Coronavirus in Haringey: 17 confirmed cases as council and community rally to support the vulnerable self-isolating

PUBLISHED: 12:21 18 March 2020 | UPDATED: 13:22 18 March 2020

Community organisers from Muswell Hill Soup Kitchen. Picture: André Langlois

Community organisers from Muswell Hill Soup Kitchen. Picture: André Langlois

André Langlois

Coronavirus has spread rapidly across the country with 17 confirmed cases in Haringey but an unknown number undiagnosed – while the community has rallied to support those self-isolating.

It is expected there are far more than 17 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Haringey, with many undiagnosed. Picture: Victoria JonesIt is expected there are far more than 17 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Haringey, with many undiagnosed. Picture: Victoria Jones

Haringey’s director of public health urged residents to follow NHS advice as Mutual Aid organisations and grassroots groups sprung up across north London to support the elderly and vulnerable.

Muswell Hill Soup Kitchen switched from a restaurant set-up to a takeaway service to ensure people self-isolating could access food, drink and household staples.

On Monday, Fortismere School closed for a “deep clean” amid the outbreak, as one parent expressed concern, saying: “A one-day closure for deep clean does not seem like an adequate response – I’m really concerned for the safety of my daughter.”

Representatives from the NHS and police, adult social care, housing workers, and members of the voluntary sector met with Haringey Council to create an action plan to protect rough sleepers.

Haringey Council leader, Joseph Ejiofor, says the emergency fund will help the most vulnerable. Picture: Harry TaylorHaringey Council leader, Joseph Ejiofor, says the emergency fund will help the most vulnerable. Picture: Harry Taylor

Haringey Council leader Josph Ejiofor urged residents to follow public health advice, saying: “We might not be able to do everything that we used to do at the same pace we used to do it because we will need to prioritise services for people over things like potholes.”

He added: “It’s important we remain best able to deliver the most important services that our residents rely on.”

Dr Will Maimaris, Haringey’s director of public health, said the council was responding to the outbreak by supporting vulnerable people without statutory social care.

He said: “There is a wider group of vulnerable people who don’t have our statutory social care services and we are really focusing on how we identify those people – for example the homeless and people who use hard drugs and alcohol – to make sure they’re protected and supported if they have to self-isolate.”

Dr Will Maimaris, Haringey's director of public health, says the council is supporting the vulnerable and people not protected by its statutory social care. Picture: Dr Will MaimarisDr Will Maimaris, Haringey's director of public health, says the council is supporting the vulnerable and people not protected by its statutory social care. Picture: Dr Will Maimaris

Visit the NHS website at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ for health advice.

For live updates on coronavirus across north London, visit our blog or Facebook group.


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