Coronavirus cases have risen in every London borough as fears of a second national lockdown grow.
While all parts of the capital have seen an increase in cases, East London has been hardest hit by Covid-19. Infection rates are still lower in London than the worst-hit areas in northern England, but are steadily rising along with hospital admissions.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the capital was at ‘tipping point’ this weekend as he called for immediate action to halt the spread of the virus in the city.
There were 2,865 new confirmed cases of covid across London in the week up to September 2, an increase of 959 cases on the previous week. A week earlier, 2,305 cases were reported – with a record number of 522 people testing positive on September 22.
East London appears to be the city’s coronavirus hotspot. In Redbridge, 208 confirmed cases were confirmed in the week to September 24 – up from 139 cases the week before. In nearby Barking and Dagenham, 123 people tested positive in the week to the 24th, compared to 70 cases the week before.
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Cases almost doubled to 136 in Hillingdon, a borough in the PM’s constituency. In Ealing there were 133 cases, Brent 128, Barnet 123, Waltham Forest 113, Hounslow 112, Havering 110, Southwark 107, Enfield 105 and Wandsworth 100.
London was declared an ‘area of concern’ on Friday amid fears the city could be placed under a second lockdown. But Downing Street has continued to insist there is ‘nothing imminent on London or anywhere else’.
Jas Athwal, the Labour leader of Redbridge council, has called for stricter measures to prevent a further rise in covid cases. The councillor told Radio 4: ‘Mixing face-to-face should be stopped immediately… we are seeing the pandemic take hold.’
Athwal also warned that a 44% fall in testing in the capital between August and September could be hiding the true scale of cases.
He said: ‘A testing centre in the heart of Ilford was testing 700 to 800 people a day and it’s one of the biggest centres in London. However, recently it’s only been testing 100 to 150 people per day because of capacity issues at the national laboratory so what we’re seeing is the numbers go down.
‘And of course if you’re losing that kind of capacity the figures are going to be distorted and they’re probably going to be a lot worse than what we’re being shown across the whole of London.’
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