Covid rates in London drop 90% from second wave peak

Credit: PA

Covid-19 cases in London have fallen steeply from 100,246 in the week to January 4 to 9,869 in the seven days to February 13, representing a 90% drop.

Fifteen out of 32 boroughs have now dropped below 100 new infections per 100,000 people.

Around one in 100 people in private households in London had Covid between February 6 and 12, according to new estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is down from one in 60 people in private households that were estimated to have had Covid-19 between January 31 and February 6.

It was estimated as many as one in 20 people had the virus in some parts of London at the peak of the second wave in the period January 12 to 17.

The England average is around one in 115 people, this is down from around one in 80 people for the period January 31 to February 6.

It is the lowest figure since November 29 to December 5, when the estimate also stood at one in 115 people.

It comes as government scientists put the R – the number of people an infected person will pass coronavirus on to – at 0.6 to 0.9 for the UK, compared to 0.7 to 0.9 in the previous week.

The lower end estimate is at its lowest point recorded by the scientists, and the R is below 1 in all regions of England.

However, the experts warned that “prevalence of the virus remains high, so it remains vital that everyone continues to stay at home in order to keep the R value down”.

Sadiq Khan urged caution and lifting lockdown too quickly and insisted there should be no return to the tiering system in place before the current lockdown in England.

“I think the government’s tiering system hasn’t worked, it has been a catastrophic failure and that’s why I think we need to look towards the country as a whole," the Mayor said.

“The reality is what we can’t do is lift lockdown because we’ve seen good progress in one part of the country, which inadvertently leads to a lack of progress in another part of the country.

“I think we’ve got to learn the lessons of the mistakes made in the past.”

Sadiq Khan receives his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at a Covid-19 vaccination clinic at the Mitcham Lane Baptist Church. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Overall, 74,961 new cases were recorded in England in the seven days to February 14, the equivalent of 133.2 per 100,000 people.

This is down sharply from a peak of 680.8 cases per 100,000 people on January 4.

It is also the lowest seven-day rate since October 4.

Meanwhile, the number of patients in hospital in England with Covid-19 has also fallen sharply in recent weeks.

A total of 15,633 patients were in hospital as of 8am on February 18, down 54% from a record 34,336 patients exactly one month earlier.

But while this is a sizeable drop, numbers at both a national and regional level are still higher than when England came out of its second lockdown on December 2.