London Covid rates: Omicron in retreat as cases down in most boroughs

London Covid rates: Omicron in retreat as cases down in most boroughs
Covid cases have fallen in almost all London boroughs indicating that Omicron is in retreat in the capital, official figures have revealed.

Confirmed cases were down in 26 out of 32 boroughs in the week to January 5, according to the latest Government data.

Just four local authorities saw infection rates increase by any significant margin.

All boroughs recorded fewer than 2,000 cases per 100,000 people in the week to January 5, fuelling hope the Omicron wave may have peaked, but still a high level of disease.

A further 15,235 cases were announced for London on Monday, the second day running that the figure has been below 20,000, strengthening the belief that infections are now on the decline.

Lewisham saw the biggest tumble in infections, falling by just over 20 per cent in the week.

The encouraging statistics also revealed new cases continuing to decrease in elderly Londoners, aged 60 and over and who are more vulnerable to Covid, dropping for three days since January 2, which could suggest families took a cautious approach to intergenerational mixing after the Christmas break.

However, overall cases still rose in a swathe of west London with Hillingdon, Hounslow, Ealing and Harrow all seeing slight increases.

While the number of Covid patients in hospital remains at almost 4,000, the number of people in intensive care also appears to have fallen slightly, suggesting serious cases are on the decline.

Barts Health, London’s largest health trust, was caring for 377 Covid patients on Monday, but just 39 were on ventilators.

But the number of NHS staff forced to isolated continues to be of concern to struggling hospitals. Barts had 547 staff members off sick on January 5,  with 306 of these absences related to Covid.

Health chiefs are appealing to Londoners to keep following the Plan B restrictions to put further downward pressure on Covid.

Dr Yvonne Young, Deputy Director for Health Protection at UKHSA London, told The Standard: “London continues to see very high numbers of daily cases of Covid-19 overall and rates of infection across the city are fluctuating day by day at this high level.

“It therefore remains crucial that Londoners continue to work from home if possible, wear face coverings when required, test regularly and register your LFD (lateral flow) results, and get maximally protected by the vaccine with the first, second and booster doses, even if you have had Covid-19 before.”

She added that health bosses were “keeping a watchful eye for any impact of the return to normal routines after the Christmas break” on coronavirus rates, including the return to school and to the workplace for many employees.