The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in London hit 5,957 yesterday, with Southwark now the worst affected borough.
Figures released by Public Health England showed that the borough had recorded 365 confirmed cases as of yesterday, while Lambeth has had 358.
Read more: Coronavirus: UK death toll rises to 335
Brent and Croydon have recorded 321 and 289 positive tests respectively, while Wandsworth has had 287 cases.
London has been affected worse by the Covid-19 outbreak than other regions throughout the country.
The capital has had about 30 per cent of the UK’s 19,522 cases, and has seen a disproportionate number of deaths from the virus.
The UK’s death toll is now at 1,228.
London coronavirus cases by borough
Data sourced from Public Health England
|Hackney and City of London||177|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||144|
|Kensington and Chelsea||141|
|Barking and Dagenham||100|
|Richmond upon Thames||94|
|Kingston upon Thames||82|
Six more months of coronavirus social distancing?
It comes after it was revealed yesterday that restrictions on social distancing could last up to six months or “plausibly” longer, according to one of the government’s most senior health advisers.
Deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries said yesterday that the length of restrictions would depend on the peak of the virus and that they would likely be lifted incrementally.
Speaking at the government’s daily press conference, Dr Harries confirmed the government would undertake reviews of the UK’s regulations on contact between strangers every three weeks “probably over the next six months.”
“It is plausible that it could go further than that,” she added.
It raises the possibility that whilst the strict restrictions currently in place may cease, other measures – such as the closures of pubs, recommendations to work from home and travel restrictions – could last into the summer and beyond, with a significant economic impact.
Covid-19 testing troubles
The government’s aim is to test 25,000 people per day within three weeks to carry out the World Health Organistion’s call for countries to “test, test, test” to track the spread of Covid-19.
However, there has been confusion today around how many tests the UK is administering on a daily basis.
Senior government minister Michael Gove was caught out misstating the number of UK coronavirus tests carried out last week, after telling BBC it was 10,000.
That would have been in line with the government’s weekly target. However, it has been revealed today that this was not true.
Public Health England statistics show just 9,114 were carried out on Saturday. And the Sunday figure is not yet known.
However, City A.M. understands there is now capacity to administer 10,945 UK coronavirus tests per day.
When asked why Gove overstated the testing figures, Downing Street’s official spokesperson appeared to blame Public Health England.
“Ministers are reliant upon info that is supplied to them by Public Health England,” they said.
“Public Health England have clarified what the numbers are.”
Excel centre set to open to patients
A temporary hospital at East London’s Excel centre will have 500 beds open this week to treat Covid-19 patients.
The 4,000-bed temporary hospital will help London’s hospitals deal with the increasing number of Covid-19 patients.
An official Downing Street spokesman said today that the government was aiming to have 500 beds open by next week.
When asked if other convention centres could also be converted into temporary hospitals, he said: “NHS England is actively preparing for a number of scenarios and is working with clinicians and teams of military planners to support the local health service around the country.”
The government also ordered 10,000 ventilators from vacuum manufacturers Dyson today.
Boris Johnson wrote two weeks ago to manufacturing companies to use their plants to make ventilators for the coronavirus effort.
Downing Street’s offficial spokesman said the government was expecting thousands of ventilators to arrive next week, with more “thousands more in the pipeline”.