The mayor of London is pushing for new coronavirus restrictions across the capital.
After meeting with council leaders, he is now calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to tighten rules on socialising in the city as soon as possible to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
A spokesman for Sadiq Khan said the situation is “clearly worsening” and tougher restrictions are needed to “stop coronavirus spiralling out of control again”.
But at a Downing Street briefing, chief scientific officer Sir Patrick Vallance suggested that immunity to the disease could be higher in London than the rest of the country.
Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham have the highest weekly infection rates in the city – 33.9 and 29.2 per 100,000 people respectively.
They are also among the boroughs where the virus has spread the fastest.
The number of cases in London reached its lowest level at the end of June and beginning of July, but it has been increasing again since the end of July across the city.
In boroughs such as Kensington and Chelsea, Camden, and Richmond-upon-Thames, infection rates at the beginning of September were 10 times higher than those recorded at the beginning of July.
At the other end of the scale, cases in Bexley, which now has one of the lowest infection rates in London, have increased the least – in the first half of September, there were twice as many cases as there were in July.
But it’s not just spreading in London.
The number of cases is rising in all UK regions, but compared to other areas, the capital appears to be controlling the virus better than some regions that had similar or higher infection rates in April and May.
London’s infection rate started to increase slightly at the end of July but it rose considerably at the beginning of September.
But the increase in London has been smaller than in other areas which had similar or higher infection rates earliear in the year.
And there are more cases in regions with lower rates at the height of the UK outbreak.
But the south and the east of England are still recording lower infection rates than London.
The north of England records highest weekly infection rates between 12 to 18 September.
The North West has a seven-day average of 85.2 cases per 100,000 people and the North East 63.8 per 100,000. Both regions have put local restrictions in place to slow the spread of the virus.
In comparison, London’s infection rate is much lower – with just 16.5 cases per 100,000 people.
Although infections are rising everywhere in the UK, in the past two months they have grown the most in the North East and Northern Ireland.
In the North East, the number of coronavirus cases is 21.6 times what it was in July. In Northern Ireland, case rates are 19.3 times higher.
But London has not seen anywhere near the same level of growth in infections. Although cases are higher than what they were in the summer, the virus has not spread as fast.
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