On Monday, the capital recorded no new infections, down from 19 cases reported the day before. Previously, London has been one of the regions hardest hit by the outbreak in the UK since the first case was reported in February.
Although it appears promising, the new figure should be approached with caution as it could be attributed to a glitch in the Covid-19 patient notification system – which occurred temporarily on 16 May.
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NHS England confirmed the system “did not operate for a period of time on Saturday 16 May”.
The Department of Health and Social Care warns the new figures do not mean the epidemic is anywhere close to coming to an end, and are likely a result of a lag in the reporting of new cases from the previous few days. Data for recent days or constantly being revised as more information becomes available.
But the rate of coronavirus infections in London has been falling, raising hopes for further easing of the lockdown.
Research by PHE and the University of Cambridge’s MRC Biostatic Unit showed on 15 May that the rate of infection fell to fewer than 24 cases a day, the lowest in the UK.
Over 200,000 cases were recorded in the capital in a day at the peak of the outbreak in March. But recent data showed the figures in London were halving every 3.5 days.