Figures released on the government’s coronavirus dashboard last night showed the capital’s seven-day rate rose to 198.7 cases per 100,000 population – the highest rate of confirmed cases in London at any stage of the pandemic.
An additional 22,915 cases in the UK were announced last night, but the national rate has peaked at around 256 cases per 100,000 people for each of the most recent four days. In England, the seven-day rate fell for the first time since the lockdown, from 274.8 Wednesday to 273.4 last night.
Mr Hancock told the BBC: ‘There are promising signs that we are seeing a flattening in the number of cases since the lockdown.
“I call it a flattening rather than a fall. A swallow doesn’t make a summer. These are promising signs that the lockdown is working to bring the number of cases under control. “
London’s rate of nearly 200 cases per 100,000 people compares to a rate of 145.2 on November 1, since when the number has increased for 13 consecutive days.
That means the total number of cases diagnosed rose from 13,016 in the seven days before November 1 to 17,806 in the seven days before last Saturday, the most recent publication date.
Sources from City Hall and Public Health England are placing their hopes that the case data to be released over the weekend is the first to indicate that the numbers are starting to peak.
Preliminary data from PHE last night showed the rate to be 195 per 100,000 residents in the city.
He says the impact of the lockdown is expected to start having an effect on the cases reported this weekend and next week.
However, the increase masks a growing disparity between the 33 boroughs, with continued concern about the situation in east London.
Havering continues to have the highest rate, at 371.8 – almost three times that of Southwark, which is at 124.8.
Neighboring Redbridge is on 278, Tower Hamlets on 268 and Barking and Dagenham on 246. Bexley, in south east London, is on 282 and Ealing in west London is on 268.
There were over 300 new cases a day in Havering several days last week. There have been large increases in the working-age population, especially among women aged 20 to 59.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said yesterday: “It is more essential than ever that we continue to follow the rules, as we still have very difficult months in our fight against the virus.
“But I’m happy to say the end is finally in sight. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel because, with the positive news about filtered vaccines and the incredible work of our scientists, we can afford to be upbeat and optimistic about the future and start planning for life after the virus. “