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London coronavirus cases by borough: ZERO infections in one area fuels pressure on PM over national lockdown easing

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 04/03/2021 Nicholas Cecil

Zero new confirmed Covid-19 cases were announced for a London borough in the latest daily figures as doubts grew today over Boris Johnson’s decision to nationally ease lockdown.

Kensington and Chelsea is one of ten boroughs in the capital with a seven-day rate below 50 new infections per 100,000 residents in the week to February 25 and no new cases were announced for it yesterday.

The zero daily tally is likely to be unusual at this stage of the epidemic, possibly even a freak result, and more confirmed cases will almost certainly be announced in coming days for the affluent west London borough.

However, a swathe of inner London including Kensington and Chelsea is now seeing relatively low numbers of confirmed new cases, though the true number of infections will be significantly higher, partly given how many people have the disease asymptomatically.

Tower Hamlets saw just seven new confirmed cases announced on Tuesday, Westminster nine, Islington 12, Hackney and City of London 13, Camden 14, Southwark 16, and the same number in Lewisham.

In outer London, Bromley had ten new cases yesterday, Kingston 13 and Haringey 15.

The daily figures fluctuate and so public health chiefs use weekly case numbers and rates to assess the disease levels; all the boroughs highlighted have a seven-day rate of between 38.9 new infections a week per 100,000 and 57.7.

Ministers, health chiefs and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan are still urging people to stick to the rules to push down disease levels further with restrictions due to start to be eased on Monday, with schools re-opening.

But as cases drop to low levels in some areas and remain far higher in others, questions are being asked about the Government’s decision to ease lockdown on a national basis - and only properly lift restrictions from June 21 at the earliest - rather than reintroduce tiers or another similar system.

At least one scientist, Graham Medley, Professor of infectious disease modelling at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, is suggesting that the Prime Minister could face dilemmas over easing lockdown if disease levels are significantly different in parts of the country.

London’s seven-day rate was 65.4 as of February 25 after a weekly fall of 24.8 per cent, in the South East it was 65.2 down 23.2 per cent, South West 53.9 down 27.9 per cent, and Eastern region 79 down 22.8 per cent.

In contrast, it was 145.1 in the East Midlands after a fall of 18.1 per cent, 134.8 in Yorkshire and the Humber down 12.1 per cent, 128.8 in the West Midlands down 21.6 per cent, 128.3 in the North West down 19.8 per cent, and 113.9 in the North East down 26 per cent.

The figures show that in London:

* Thirty borough areas now have a seven-day rate below 100 as of February 25.

* Lewisham had the lowest rate at 38.9.

* The highest rate was in Ealing at 122.6, followed by Hounslow on 114.9.

* The sharpest decline in confirmed cases was in Kingston, down 52.3 per cent in the week to February 25, followed by Kensington and Chelsea 46.8 per cent, Lambeth 42.9 per cent, Waltham Forest 42.1 per cent, and Newham 41.1 per cent.

* However, cases rose in two boroughs; Islington up 12 in a week or 12.9 per cent, and Tower Hamlets up nine or 5.5 per cent.

* Health chiefs say that when disease levels get low it may be harder to drive down cases further as the people still vulnerable to catching the virus are often those hardest to protect such as key workers or people who are not able to work from home.

* They also believe it may be easier to reduce cases in the capital than other regions given that proportionately more people may be able to work from home given the level of office jobs.

The detailed figures show that:

* There were 84 cases in Kingston in the week to February 25, down 92 (52.3%) with a seven-day rate of 47.3

* Kensington and Chelsea 67 cases, down 59 (46.8%) rate 42.9

* Lambeth 160 cases, down 120 (42.9%) rate 49.1

* Waltham Forest 143 cases, down 104 (42.1%) rate 51.6

* Newham 215 cases, down 150 (41.1%) rate 60.9

* Southwark 133 cases, down 82 (38.1%) rate 41.7

* Bexley 145 cases, down 76 (34.4%) rate 58.4

* Lewisham 119 cases, down 57 (32.4%) rate 38.9

* Barking and Dagenham 182 cases, down 87 (32.3%) rate 85.5

* Hillingdon 297 cases, down 141 (32.2%) rate 96.8

* Enfield 161 cases, down 69 (30%) rate 48.2

* Redbridge 221 cases, down 93 (29.6%) rate 72.4

* Havering 168 cases, down 68 (28.8%) rate 64.7

* Westminster 107 cases, down 39 (26.7%) rate 40.9

* Merton 164 cases, down 59 (26.5%) rate 79.4

* Hounslow 312 cases, down 104 (25%) rate 114.9

* Croydon 281 cases, down 91 (24.5%) rate 72.7

* Hammersmith and Fulham 141 cases, down 42 (23%) rate 76.2

* Camden 114 cases, down 32 (21.9%) rate 42.2

* Greenwich 158 cases, down 44 (21.8%) rate 54.9

* Haringey 155 cases, down 41 (20.9%) rate 57.7

* Brent 301 cases, down 67 (18.2%) rate 91.3

* Richmond 108 cases, down 23 (17.6%) rate 54.5

* Bromley 160 cases, down 31 (16.2%) rate 48.1

* Harrow 238 cases, down 38 (13.8%) rate 94.8

* Wandsworth 207 cases, down 32 (13.4%) rate 62.8

* Hackney and City of London 166 cases, down 24 (12.6%) rate 57.1

* Barnet 296 cases, down 35 (10.6%) rate 74.8

* Ealing 419 cases, down 44 (9.5%) rate 122.6

* Sutton 166 cases, down 15 (8.3%) rate 80.4

* Tower Hamlets 172 cases, up 9 (5.5%) rate 53

* Islington 105 cases, up 12 (12.9%) rate 43.3

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