At times during the pandemic, the capital has been cast as the villainous wellspring of coronavirus proliferation, the super-spreader city worthy of isolation from the rest of the nation. But the most recent official statistics for Covid infection tell a very different story.
Figures for positive Covid tests from Public Health England show that from 1-7 September, the most recent week of complete data, 23,124 cases were identified in the capital, which translates into a rate of 257 cases per 100,000 people. This compares to a rate of 343 cases per 100,000 for England as a whole.
Meanwhile, Public Health England figures for a four-week period compiled by Centre for Cities and last updated on 10 September, show that London had the lowest rate of confirmed cases in cities and large towns across the whole of the country except for Worthing and Chatham. London’s rate was 247 per 100,000 people over the four weeks. The highest rates were found in Hull (554 per 100,000), Blackpool (485) and Telford (469).
City Hall has broken down the figures for week ending 7 September by borough. These show that the highest rates were recorded in Harrow (319 per 100,000), followed by Ealing (313), Hillingdon (298), Croydon (295) and Hounslow (287). The lowest rates were in Westminster (201 per 100,000), followed by Camden (205), Islington (212), Hackney and City, which are combined as local authorities (213) and Tower Hamlets (224).
Also intriguing is the distribution of cases among different age groups for the week ended 7 September: by a small but clear distance the largest number were among the over-70s, with 15 to 24 year-olds the least likely to to have test positive and all the other categories clustered in between.
The overall trend in London has been for cases to fall very gradually after a big drop at the end of July, but the most recent week has seen a slight uptick – clearly something to keep a wary eye on.
And vaccinations? Up to and including 11 September, 5,827,658 Londoners had had one jab and 5,197,910 had had two.
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