Covid: Heathrow could be behind Hounslow's jump in cases, says GP

Video report by ITV London Correspondent Ronke Phillips

Hounslow's proximity to Heathrow Airport could behind the steep rise in Indian variant Covid cases in the area, according to one local GP.

The Borough has the sixth highest rate of infection in England, statistics released on Thursday revealed.

A total of 139 new cases were recorded in Hounslow to the week ending May 16, a jump from the 131 in the seven days prior.

“We do not know the exact reason why it’s so prevalent here," Dr Akhil Mayor told ITV London.

“We have Heathrow on our doorstep, we have a lot of our population who work within it, whether that be in Heathrow, or whether it’s an affiliated business, such as hotels locally in our borough as well.

"We’ve seen a large number of the Indian variant."

To help combat the rise, surge testing and an increase in vaccinations will take place in Hounslow.

Of the 315 local areas in England, 122 (39%) have seen a rise in rates, 182 (58%) have seen a fall and 11 are unchanged.Dr Onkar Sahota, Labour health spokesperson London Assembly: “We’ve been very late in closing our airport and, of course, Hounslow has Heathrow on our doorstep, so we need to make sure our borders are well controlled.

"Some say the borders of the United Kingdom are more porous than a sieve."