Att Hancock issued an urgent appeal to Londoners today to “stick to the rules” after shocking numbers showed a spike in Covid-19 cases in 21 regions increasing the risk of a Level 3 infection for the city before Christmas.
The Minister of Health also confirmed that more people in the capital would end up in hospital and die due to the spread of the disease.
He spoke after worrying data showed that confirmed cases jumped by 46.7 in Haringey in the week ending December 2, with several neighborhoods in east London severely affected.
In response to a question by LBC Radio whether London is about to enter Level 3, Mr. Hancock affirmed: “My message to everyone in London is” Let’s stick to the rules “and not push the boundaries of the rules, but rather try to limit the spread of this infection because the number of cases is on the rise. In parts of London, in parts of Essex, in parts of Kent, we know what happens when case numbers go up, unfortunately more people end up in hospital and more people die.
“So, we have to stick to it and we have to keep this virus under control while we start the process of spreading the vaccine.
So, my message to everyone in London is ‘Please respect the restrictions, respect what needs to be done, keep yourself, your family, your community and your city safe.’
Earlier, London Secretary Paul Scully told The Standard: “The levels will be reviewed in a few days, so it is too early to know what is happening,” he told The Standard.
“Obviously we want to at least stay at Level 2.
“The only way to do this is if we all look after each other by sticking to ‘hands, face, space.’
“In this way, we can save lives and protect our economy.”
Cases are understood to increase sharply in people under the age of 18, with a number of school outbreaks occurring, as well as in people over the age of 60, compared to other age groups.
The increase in the older age group is worrisome because these people are more likely to have severe disease, be hospitalized and die from infection.
Case numbers now include rapid lateral flow tests, although this is not said to have a significant impact on the numbers despite having been tried in many neighborhoods across the capital, with increases put in place in community transmission.
Haringey saw 465 cases in the seven days through December 2, an increase of 148 cases from the previous week (46.7 percent), and an average of 173.1 new cases per 100,000 population.
In Bromley there were 568 cases, an increase of 163 cases (40.2 per cent) an average of 170.9, in Kingston 365 cases, an increase of 91 (33.2 per cent) an average of 205.6 cases, and Hackney and City of London 481 cases, an increase of 119 cases (32.9 per cent) With a rate of 165.4, Merton 381, an increase of 87 (29.6%), a rate of 184.5, Harrow, 443 cases, an increase of 93 (26.6%), a rate of 176.4, Bexley, 620 cases, an increase of 123 (24.7%) of 249.7, Wandsworth 393 cases, 75. (23.6 percent) with 119.2 cases, Sutton 319 cases, 59 (22.7 percent) 154.6, Altham Forest 698 cases, an increase of 110 (18.7 percent), an increase of 252 cases, Barking and Dagenham 636 cases, an increase of 94 (17.3 percent) a rate 298.7, Lewisham 346 cases, 46 (15.3%) with a ratio of 113.1.
Islington saw 289 cases, an increase of 36 (14.2 percent) a rate of 119.2, Hovering 829 cases, an increase of 87 (11.7 percent) an increase of 319.4 cases, Newham 857 cases, an increase of 89 (11.6 percent) of 242.7, Enfield 645 cases, an increase of 61 (10.4 per cent) at a rate of 193.2, Barnet 648 cases, 57 (9.6 per cent) at a rate of 163.7, Croydon 562, an increase of 33 (6.2 per cent) at a rate of 145.3, Lambeth 375, an increase of one-tenth (2.7 per cent) at a rate of 115, Southwark 340, An increase of one-fifth (1.5 percent), with a rate of 106.6, and Hamelts, an increase of 672, an increase of three (0.4 percent), with a rate of 206.9.
In Hammersmith and Fulham there were 182 cases, down 42 (18.8%) with a 98.3 case, Brent 473 cases, down 101 (17.6%) at 143.4, Ealing 547 cases, 108 (16.5%) with 160 cases, Kensington and Chelsea 161 cases. , Down 19 (10.6%) by 103.1, Hounslow 418 cases, 48 (10.3%) at 153.9, Richmond 157 cases, down 16 (9.2)%) by 79.3, Westminster 241 cases, down 11 (4.4%) With a rate of 92.2, Camden has 237 cases, five cases (2.1 per cent) at a rate of 87.8, Greenwich 446 cases, down six (1.3 per cent) at a rate of 154.9, Hillingdon 507 cases, six cases (1.2 per cent), a rate of 165.2, and Redbridge 899, a decrease of four (0.4%) at a rate of 294.5.
Ministers will begin scrutinizing the Covid numbers in extensive detail in about a week, with changes to allocations to levels made on December 16th.
Professor Kevin Fenton, London’s director of public health in England, raised concerns last Friday about the apparent change in the course of the disease, when case pressure in many parts of the capital began to falter, according to official figures.
The London seven-day average was 200 per 100,000 on 15 November before declining to 154.2 on 27, but returned to 169.6 on 2 December.
In the week ending 24 November, cases were declining in 30 of London’s 32 boroughs.