Harrow Council’s top health officer said there is “light at the end of the tunnel” as Covid-19 cases in the borough gradually fall.

Carole Furlong, director of public health at Harrow Council, believes there is cause for optimism, particularly given the wider rollout of the vaccination programme.

She told a community webinar on Covid-19 last night (Tuesday, January 19) there is evidence things are getting better in Harrow but urged people to continue to follow government guidance to help reduce the spread of the virus.

“We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel – by no means are we at the end of that tunnel yet, but people have been doing their best and are saving lives by staying at home,” she said.

In her presentation covering last week’s statistics, Ms Furlong explained the average number of new cases in Harrow is below 300 and seems to have plateaued, possibly because of the lockdown and restrictions in schools.

She pointed out this is an improvement from last month when there was a time that around one per cent of Harrow residents were infected with Covid-19.

However, she said there is still a lot of work to be done, describing the daily number of positive tests as the “tip of the iceberg”, and noting the continued overrepresentation of Covid-19 among Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups.

There is also the need to remain in lockdown until rates have come “right down” due to the transmissibility of the new variant of the virus.

Harrow Council has urged people to take advantage of its recently set-up test centres for those without symptoms.

There are five rapid Covid-19 tests sites in the borough – St Ann’s Shopping Centre, Harrow Arts Centre, Harrow Civic Centre, Stanmore’s Shree Swaminarayan Temple, and Cambridge Road Car Park in North Harrow – with slots bookable online.

Ms Furlong highlighted the value of these sites, noting that from 6,600 lateral flow tests last week, 218 came up positive.