London mayor Sadiq Khan on Friday said the British capital is at a “very worrying tipping point’ as officials revealed that it is being placed on the countrywide Covid-19 ‘watchlist’ following a rise in infections.
New local lockdowns were announced in Cardiff and Swansea, amid growing concerns over an exponential rise in cases. Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week announced more curbs short of a full national lockdown, urging people to take basic precautions.
Khan said: “London is at a very worrying tipping point right now. We’re seeing a sharp rise in 111 calls (for medical care), hospital admissions and patients in ICU. The near-collapse of test and trace and the resurgence of the virus means new measures to slow its spread were absolutely necessary”.
“Testing capacity was diverted away from London in the last two weeks to other national hotspots…The lack of testing capacity is totally unacceptable and it is why London has been added to the government’s coronavirus watchlist as an area of concern”, he added.
New daily cases in London are below 500, but it has been added to the list of places of concern. The daily new cases in the UK rose to 6,634 on Thursday evening, nearing the daily rise recorded in April and May. There were 40 deaths in the last 24 hours.
London Councils, representing all 32 boroughs, said London is being placed on the national Covid-19 watchlist.
No new measures were being taken, but London’s entry on the list was a “stark reminder that now is time for all Londoners to pull together and take action to keep themselves, their families and their communities safe, and to ensure that London’s economy is protected”, it said in a statement.
“There are no additional measures at this stage but it is welcome that the city’s testing capacity is boosted so that Londoners have timely access to Covid-19 tests and the government must ensure that this is sustained from now on. We ask all Londoners to work together and abide by the national restrictions announced on Tuesday”, it added.
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