London most Covid infected city in England, weekly rise in cases recorded 40 per cent

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LONDON: Covid-19 surges are erupting across London with more than half of boroughs seeing a weekly rise of more than 40 per cent, official figures have reveald. Southwark in the city centre saw the biggest spike in confirmed cases in the week to December 9, with a rise of 71 per cent compared to the previous week.

Enfield saw a jump of 69.1 per cent, Richmond 67.5 per cent, Lewisham 61.8 per cent, Greenwich 58.7 per cent, Havering 58.4 per cent, Bromley 52.4 per cent, and Hammersmith and Fulham 49.5 per cent.

A new variant of the virus, which is believed to spread faster, is thought to be partly behind the rise in cases in the capital, where 17 boroughs saw increases of more than 40 per cent.

However, scientists say the increasing spread of the disease is mainly down to less social distancing. The second wave peak in the city has reached a new high, with a seven-day rate of 242 new case per 100,000 in the week to December 9, with east London being hardest hit.

The highest seven-day rate is in Havering at 509 per 100,000, followed by Redbridge 398.7, Waltham Forest 385.2, Barking and Dagenham 384.7, Enfield 337.3, Newham 331.6, Bexley 311.7, and Tower Hamlets 302.4.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced on Monday that London, which now has the highest infection rate in England, was going into Tier 3 from midnight on Tuesday. Cases continue to rise in all boroughs, and Covid patient admissions to hospitals in the capital are also up, with 277 on the 11th, and 1,493 in a week.