Sadiq Khan warns London at risk of deadly second wave of coronavirus


LONDON: Mayor Sadiq Khan has warned that London is at risk of a “deadly second wave” of coronavirus and needs more powers to ensure a local lockdown can be imposed if necessary.

More than 8,000 Londoners have lost their lives in the pandemic – including 90 NHS workers in the capital – and the Mayor warned that “we could have more deaths going forward”.

According to an Evening Standard report, at a meeting of the London Health Board, he told the capital’s health chiefs to avoid self-congratulation and urged them to quickly learn the lessons of the first wave of deaths. “None of us are in the mood for celebration,” Mr Khan said.

Mayor Sadiq Khan

Noting the “profound” impact of Covid-19 on London, Mr Khan said: “We may have passed the peak of this crisis but the pandemic is clearly not over. “There is still a serious threat of a deadly second wave. To avoid this, it’s going to be crucial we make a clear commitment to learn the lessons from the past few months and apply them quickly.”

He praised the “heroic” NHS and social care workers and said the availability of PPE protective equipment was an “ongoing concern”.

The Mayor added: “Leicester has just announced an extension of lockdown. We could well be having local challenges.

“I’ve written to [Health Secretary] Matt Hancock because I’m concerned whether we have got the levers we need if, God forbid, if we needed to have a Leicester-type local lockdown, whether it’s specific to an organisation or on geographical boundaries. I’m not sure we are quite ready.”

“We have lost more than 8,000 Londoners at least. The bad news is we could have more deaths going forward.” Data provided to yesterday’s health board said there had been 8,222 deaths involving coronavirus in London by June 5.

The first positive test result in London was on February 11 and the first death was on March 6, a patient at Barts Health NHS Trust.