London lockdown: Capital’s coronavirus infection rate NOT as high as first touted

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Analysis of the 32 boroughs in London has revealed only Ealing has a rate higher than then national average in England. In the week ending October 24, the west London borough recorded an infection rate of 228.5 cases per 100,000 people. This figure was slightly higher than the national average of 225.9 per 100,000.

All 31 other London boroughs were trailing below the national benchmark despite fears so-called R – rate of transmission was above two in the capital.

Data shows Hammersmith had the second highest infection rate in London, with 219.8 cases per 100,000 in the same weekly period.

Kingston-upon-Thames recorded the third-highest, with a rate of 207.9, while Hounslow was in fourth-place with a rate of 190.4.

Across the capital, Lewisham had the lowest outbreak of COVID-19, with 103.6 infections per 100,000 people.

London was moved from Tier 1 – where national restrictions such as the rule of six and 10pm curfew apply – and into Tier 2 on October 17.

Under Tier 2 restrictions, members from two different households are barred from mixing in indoor settings.

Paul Hunter, professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia, has warned Tier 3 restrictions is “very much on the cards” for London.

Under Tier 3, people are banned from mixing in both indoor and outdoor hospitality settings.

Pubs and bars must close, unless they can operate as a restaurant and serve substantial meals, while people are urged not to travel to and from the area.

Professor Hunter said: “From a public health perspective I think a move up to Tier Three probably should be done sooner rather than later, unless the Government has access to data that means it is not as bad as it looks.

Speaking to the Mail Online, he added: “The issue is not just the maximum number, it’s also how that’s changing.

“So you could have a location with a fairly modest number of cases at the moment but, if it’s doubling less than once a week, you know it is heading in the wrong direction and the sooner you move it up the tier the better.

“Case numbers across London as a whole are increasing relatively quickly, I think it’s fair to say.”

His comments comes as new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicate there was more than half a million new weekly coronavirus infections in England.

The ONS infection survey found cases “continued to rise steeply” in the week ending October 23, with an estimated 568,100 people in households becoming infected.

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Meanwhile, official documents released by the Government from a Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) meeting on October 8, showed experts warned the number of infections and hospital admissions is “exceeding the reasonable worst case scenario planning levels at this time”.

The document, which came just days before the three tier system oof restrictions were announced, said the number of deaths was also “highly likely to exceed reasonable worst case planning levels” within the next two weeks.

This afternoon, the Department for Health announced 24,405 new cases of coronavirus in the UK, with an additional 274 fatalities.

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