Councillor calls for permanent memorial in honour of those who lost their lives during the pandemic

THE residents who tragically lost their lives to the Covid-19 pandemic could be remembered in a permanent memorial created by the council.

Conservative councillor Joycelyn Redsell has suggested the council creates the memorial with “the intention that it could be a place for family and friends to reflect”.

It is due to be discussed by councillors at a Full Council meeting next week and comes as a separate report has revealed that of the 631 confirmed cases in the borough up to the first week of September, 149 have died – the equivalent of 23 per cent.

However, the proportion of new positive cases remained low during that first week of the month with a rate of just 7.4 per 100,000 – half of the number currently recorded in Southend.

There have also been no recorded deaths from the virus since mid-July.

The report added: “The average age of those infected has fallen considerably from earlier in the pandemic. Currently most new cases are in young adults who are at low risk of serious health complications from becoming infected.”

During a Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the council’s director of public health, Ian Wake, explained the reason the age group had dropped could be “one of two things”.

Firstly, it could have dropped due to the people that are being tested as previously test were only available to those in hospital or older residents who are more likely to become seriously infected.

Secondly, “it could mean a genuine increase in transmission in younger age groups.”

He went on to admit that since there was a “concerning” increase in cases in the days following September 4.

The three-day average for the number of positive tests had been within a window of between nought and two for the past two months but data showed it is going above that for the first time.

The permanent memorial, along with the number of cases, will be discussed by councillors at a Full Council meeting on Wednesday.

Cllr Redsell was contacted for comment.

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