The UK on Thursday declared 6,634 new cases of COVID-19 – the highest figure on record in a single day. The massive spike came after 6,178 infections were added to the tally on Wednesday, with cases in London more than doubling since August.
Kevin Fenton, director of Public Health England in London, held a meeting with Mr Khan and leaders of the city’s 32 boroughs.
Professor Fenton has issued an urgent warning about a “rising tide of coronavirus” in the capital.
He pointed to the increase in hospital admissions and the growing number of 111 calls as evidence Londoners had a serious epidemic on their hands.
He even went so far as to suggest that the outbreak in the city could be as severe as the one in the northeast.
Professor Fenton cited the lack of testing as a major problem.
He said London lost around 20% of its testing capacity as it was moved from the city to other hot spots.
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“It’s no longer limited to young people in their twenties.”
He added that “although the number of cases per district varies, the general trend across the city is a steady increase in transmission and if this continues the situation can escalate.”
Following the grim discussion, ministers are reportedly considering a localized lockdown in London if Boris Johnson’s new rules do not slow the rise in cases.
Since last month, the seven-day weekly average of new coronavirus cases in the capital has fallen from 86 per 100,000 to 262 per 100,000.
Hospital admissions for the disease have also increased.
The daily moving average fell from 11 on September 2 to 33.4 on September 18.
Public Health England said on Thursday there had been 40 deaths from the coronavirus, up from 37 the day before.
The increase came as pubs and restaurants in London brace for the new 10pm curfew.
While some have criticized Mr Johnson’s move, saying it will deal a blow to an industry already badly damaged by the lockdown, others have supported the rule.