Covid surge? London escapes spike in cases as children return to school

·3-min read
Schools returning does not appear to have caused a feared spike in cases  (AP)
Schools returning does not appear to have caused a feared spike in cases (AP)

The return of schools does not appear to have caused a feared spike of Covid cases in London, according to the latest data.

A total of 2,620 new cases in the capital were announced on Thursday, down almost 1,100 from the 3,707 cases reported on September 2 as most pupils started term.

The number of Covid patients taken daily to London hospitals has also been declining in the past week, with 90 admitted on Tuesday — the third consecutive day of fewer than 100 admissions.

The total number of Covid inpatients in London hospitals fell below 1,200 for the first time in a week to 1,179 on Thursday. Experts said that the coronavirus figures published, a fortnight after schools returned, offered the first indication of whether this had caused a resurgence in infections.

Professor Paul Hunter, of the University of East Anglia, said the 22,949 cases reported across England was down 15 per cent on Thursday last week. Comparing seven-day periods, there had been a 22 per cent nationwide fall.

Professor Hunter continued: “It does look like those strongly expressed views that we would see a surge in infections after schools went back has not turned out to be the case.”

A total of 94.4 per cent of adult Londoners have covid antibodies, either through vaccination or from contracting the virus, the Office for National Statistics said.

More than 440,000 Londoners took a PCR test in the most recent seven days, with 5.1 per cent testing positive — a slight increase but still the lowest rate in the country.

Public Health England’s latest weekly surveillance report found that case rates per 100,000 people were lowest in London, with a seven-day rate of 211.7.

However, infection rates are highest in the capital in the 10-14 age group, and the take-up of vaccines among 16 and 17-year-olds is under 40 per cent in London but above 50 per cent nationally.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, PHE medical director, said: “There are still high levels of infection in the community. We are in a much better place today to deal with the virus than we were a year ago, but we must not be complacent.”

England-wide hospital and mortality figures highlight the danger of failing to get vaccinated. The number of unvaccinated people dying with Covid rose by 21 per cent last week, up from 600 to 726 in the most recent four-week period.

The number of unvaccinated patients requiring an overnight stay in hospital for Covid increased 18.5 per cent week on week, from 2,891 cases to 3,425 cases in the most recent four-week period.

London children were invited to join a clinical trial examining which vaccine would be best given as a second dose to the 12 to 16 age group.

St George’s hospital, in Tooting, is one of four sites participating in the Oxford university Com-COV vaccine mix-and-match study. It will assess whether children given a first dose of Pfizer secure better protection against Covid with either a second full dose of Pfizer, a half dose of Pfizer, half dose of Moderna or full dose of Novavax.

Read More

My daughter is off to uni and when I think about it my eyes well up

Murder probe launched as three young children die in New Zealand

Nadhim Zahawi promoted to Education Secretary after overseeing vaccine rollout

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting