London has seen a sharp drop in the number of recorded coronavirus cases over the past few days, after figures released on Friday showed the capital currently has the lowest R rate in the country.
A further 629 cases were recorded in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of positive tests in London since the start of the pandemic to 697,278.
It marks a significant drop since a record 19,871 daily cases were recorded on 29 December, as lockdown measures continue to drive down infections.
Several areas in the capital have seen case numbers drop threefold over the past fortnight, which in turn has pushed down the spread of infection.
Most boroughs in the capital now have a seven-day rate below 100 new cases per 100,000, but that figure is below 50 in some areas in central London.
Twenty-nine London borough areas, including the whole of east London which was hardest hit by the second wave, have a seven-day case rate below 100 new confirmed cases per 100,000.
Meanwhile, Southwark, Westminster, Camden, Kensington and Chelsea all recorded seven-day rates below 50. Lewisham saw the lowest case rate in the capital in the week to 24 February, with an average of 43 people infected per 100,000 population.
Meanwhile, Ealing currently has the highest case rate, with 123 cases per 100,000, followed by Hounslow at 115 and Hillingdon on 97.
Health chiefs have said all London boroughs need to get below a case rate of 100 before restrictions can begin to be lifted, starting with the reopening of schools on 8 March.
It comes after figures released last Friday showed London’s R rate remains at a best estimate of 0.6 to 0.8 — the lowest in the country, alongside the east of England and the South West.
The figure means infections may be falling anywhere between five and eight per cent each day.
However, separate figures released last week showed the percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus in London remains the highest of any English region.
Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed around 1 in 63 Londoners were infected with the virus last week.
That compares to an estimated 1 in 80 people who contracted the virus in England as a whole in the week to 6 February, according to ONS figures.
London coronavirus cases by borough (in alphabetical order)
Data sourced from Public Health England, accurate as of 4pm on Tuesday 2 March
|Boroughs||Rate of infection per 100,000 people in last 7 days||Total confirmed cases since start of pandemic|
|Barking and Dagenham||86||22,925|
|Hackney and City of London||57||21,234|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||76||12,564|
|Kensington and Chelsea||43||8,643|
|Kingston upon Thames||47||11,764|
|Richmond upon Thames||55||10,430|