London Covid cases by borough revealed amid hopes coronavirus lockdown could be eased more quickly

Nicholas Cecil
·5-min read
<p>One MP said the latest London figures were ‘really encouraging’</p> (Evening Standard)

One MP said the latest London figures were ‘really encouraging’

(Evening Standard)

Covid-19 cases have tumbled so fast in the capital that the seven-day rate has fallen in half of boroughs below 50 new confirmed infections per 100,000 people a week, official figures reveal today.

Just one borough is still above the key rate of 100.

Public health chiefs want the whole of the city to be below l00 before lockdown starts to be eased and on current trends Ealing, on 107.7, will dip below this level before schools re-open on Monday.

Senior MPs urged Londoners to continue following the rules to drive down cases further but also raised hopes that if the dramatic decline in infections continues lockdown might be eased more quickly.

Six boroughs saw the seven-day rate drop below 40 confirmed cases in the week to February 27, with Lewisham lowest on 35, followed by Camden 35.2, Southwark 36,7, Islington 37.5, Kingston 38.9, and Kensington and Chelsea 39.7.

A further ten boroughs are below 50 including Westminster, Lambeth, Hackney and the City of London, Tower Hamlets, Haringey, Bexley, Enfield, Greenwich, Richmond and Bromley.

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Former Cabinet minister Theresa Villiers, MP for Chipping Barnet, told The Standard: “These numbers are really encouraging, it shows we are getting on top of the virus but we are not out of the woods yet.

“I really hope this means we can get out of lockdown on time and hopefully a little earlier than the indicative roadmap.”

Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond, a former health minister, said: “The key message for Londoners is ‘don’t give up now’.

“‘Keep obeying the rules and if cases do keep falling like this then there could be a case for looking whether the relaxation of lockdown could move faster’.

“The first two stage are locked in until March 29.

“If cases have fallen dramatically by then what was going to be relaxed on April 12 and later could then be reviewed.”

London’s seven-day rate has fallen from a second wave peak of 1,118.6 on January 4 to 57.7 as of February 27, down 30.9 per cent in a week.

Kingston saw confirmed cases drop 52.4 per cent in a week, Bexley 48.7 per cent, Lambeth 40.6 per cent, and 11 more boroughs by at least a third.

The real number of cases is significantly higher, partly because so many people have the disease asymptomatically.

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Professor Paul Plant, Public Health England’s deputy regional director for London said: “Steadily improving Covid-19 rates in a number of boroughs is good news, but there is variation across the city and some parts are still reporting high rates.

“We know how quickly coronavirus can spread and none of us wants to see pressure increasing on the NHS, especially whilst vulnerable Londoners continue to be protected by a life-saving vaccine. The emergence of variants also means we must remain extra vigilant.

“All of these factors are key considerations when taking the next cautious steps to a more normal life, so it’s crucial that Londoners don’t let their guard down and keep our city safe. We’re still in lockdown so we must all continue to stay at home and remember hands, face, space if leaving the house.”

The seven-day rate in the South East has dropped to 56.7 down 29.9 per cent in a week, the South West to 46.1 down 34.7 per cent, and the Eastern region to 70.3 down 27.3 per cent.

The East Midlands has the highest rate on 130.8 down 23.7 per cent, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber on 122 down 21.1 per cent, the North West on 113.9 down 26.4 per cent, the West Midlands on 113.1 down 28.5 per cent, and the North East on 107.8 down 25.6 per cent.

The detailed figures for London show that:

* Kingston saw 69 cases in the week to February 27, down 76 (52.4%) with a seven-day rate of 38.9

* Bexley 121 cases, down 93 (43.5%) rate 48.7

* Lambeth 148 cases, down 101 (40.6%) rate 45.4

* Merton 133 cases, down 87 (39.5%) rate 64.4

* Croydon 224 cases, down 144 (39.1%) rate 57.9

* Newham 209 cases, down 132 (38.7%) rate 59.2

* Southwark 117 cases, down 72 (38.1%) rate 36.7

* Kensington and Chelsea 62 cases, down 38 (38%) rate 39.7

* Camden 95 cases, down 58 (37.9%) rate 35.2

* Hounslow 263 cases, down 160 (37.8%) rate 96.9

* Barking and Dagenham 154 cases, down 91 (37.1%) rate 72.3

* Enfield 147 cases, down 80 (35.2%) rate 44

* Havering 144 cases, down 77 (34.8%) rate 55.5

* Waltham Forest 140 cases, down 74 (34.6%) rate 50.5

* Redbridge 204 cases, down 97 (32.2%) rate 66.8

* Lewisham 107 cases, down 50 (31.8%) rate 35

* Harrow 196 cases, down 90 (31.5%) rate 78

* Hammersmith and Fulham 131 cases, down 59 (31.1%) rate 70.8

* Greenwich 139 cases, down 62 (30.8%) rate 48.3

* Richmond 94 cases, down 41 (30.4%) rate 47.5

* Hillingdon 282 cases, down 122 (30.2%) rate 91.9

* Haringey 131 cases, down 54 (29.2%) rate 48.8

* Hackney and City of London 140 cases, down 49 (25.9%) rate 48.1

* Westminster 105 cases, down 35 (25%) rate 40.2

* Brent 273 cases, down 87 (24.2%) rate 82.8

* Barnet 260 cases, down 74 (22.2%) rate 65.7

* Bromley 143 cases, down 39 (21.4%) rate 43

* Ealing 368 cases, down 83 (18.4%) rate 107.7

* Tower Hamlets 145 cases, down 31 (17.6%) rate 44.7

* Wandsworth 193 cases, down 32 (14.2%) rate 58.5

* Sutton 147 cases, down 22 (13%) rate 71.2

* Islington 91 cases, down five (5.2%) rate 37.5

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