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COVID-19 pandemic in London

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

COVID-19 pandemic in London
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationLondon, England, UK
First outbreakWuhan, Hubei, China
Arrival date12 February 2020
Confirmed cases710,229[1][2] (up to 28 March 2021)
Hospitalised cases
  • 742[3] (active, as of 28 March 2021)
  • 71,996[3] (total, up to 28 March 2021)
Ventilator cases159[3] (active, as of 28 March 2021)
Recoveredno data[4]
Deaths
  • 14,749[5] (hospital deaths, up to 28 March 2021)
  • 15,413[6] (deaths within 28 days of positive test, up to 28 March 2021)
  • 17,660[6] (deaths within 60 days of positive test, up to 28 March 2021)
  • 18,826[6] (deaths with COVID-19 on the death certificate by date of death, up to 12 March 2021)
Fatality rate
  • 172.0[6] (death rate per 100,000 population who died within 28 days of the first positive test)
  • 208.7[6] (death rate per 100,000 population whose death certificate mentioned COVID-19)
Government website
www.london.gov.uk/coronavirus

The first case relating to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in London, England, was confirmed on 12 February 2020 in a woman who had recently arrived from China. By mid-March, there had been almost 500 confirmed cases in the city, and 23 deaths; a month later, the number of deaths had topped 4,000.

London was initially one of the worst affected regions of England. As of 23 December, there were 278,760 cases,[2] and (on 16 June) 6,079 deaths of patients who tested positive for COVID-19 in London hospitals.[5] This underestimates the total deaths attributable to COVID-19; up to 1 May, only 76% of deaths in London recorded as involving COVID-19 occurred in hospitals.[5] The city's poorest boroughs – Newham, Brent and Hackney – have been the hardest hit areas in terms of deaths per 100,000 population. Harrow and Brent had excess death rates over three times the national average.

History

The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in London was detected on 12 February 2020, in a woman who had arrived from China with the virus a few days earlier. She was the ninth known case in the UK.[7]

By 17 March, there had been almost 500 confirmed cases in London and 23 deaths, and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan announced the London Underground would begin running a reduced service due to the virus.[8] A day earlier UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had stated that London's outbreak was a few weeks ahead of the rest of the UK.[9] The city had seen the most cases of any UK region, with numbers rising much faster than elsewhere in the UK.[10]

ONS data showed the number of deaths (4,697) in London due to COVID-19 in the four weeks to 17 April. Of 3,275 London deaths registered in the week ending 17 April, the ONS said COVID-19 was mentioned on more than half of all death certificates.[11]

Initially, Southwark and Westminster were the worst affected boroughs.[12] By 18 April, the five worst affected boroughs were Brent (1,160 cases), Croydon (1,140), Barnet (1,055), Southwark (1,053) and Lambeth (998).[2] On 3 June, the five worst affected boroughs were Croydon (1,511), Brent (1,478), Barnet (1,299), Bromley (1,281), and Southwark (1,274).[2]

On 1 May, Office for National Statistics (ONS) data showed the death rates in London's poorest boroughs were the highest in the UK, with Newham – 144.3 deaths per 100,000 people – the highest, followed by Brent (141.5), and Hackney (127.4).[13][14]

By 18 June, Sixteen of the 20 British local authorities recording the highest excess death rates were in London. Harrow and Brent had excess death rates over three times the national average, at 64% and 63% respectively.[15]

On 25 September 2020, London was placed on the national coronavirus watchlist following a rise in cases.[16]

By 6 October, due in part to an upsurge in testing, London's infection rate was more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases a day, with 16 boroughs reporting more than 60 new cases per 100,000 people.[17] Two days later, 8 October 2020, the Evening Standard reported that in the week to 4 October 2020 the capital city had recorded 6,723 new COVID-19 infections, an infection rate increase of 58.2% on the previous week.[18]

A London COVID-19 Pandemic Memorial Garden was announced in late November; it will be planted near the London Olympic Stadium in the Borough of Newham. It will consist of three circles formed from 33 blossom trees.[19]

By December, COVID-19 cases in London had begun to rise again significantly following surges across parts of the UK,[20] and by the end of the month London emergency services were equivalently busy to the level during the previous Spring peak, with the NHS Nightingale temporary hospital on standby.[21][22] The alert level in the capital was elevated to "tier 4", with accompanying restrictions, over the course of the month, with these highest restrictions applying from December 20 following an announcement on the 19th.[23]

On 8 January 2021, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan newly declared the COVID-19 crisis in London a "major incident" with "out of control" spread, as infection rates for London were estimated to be around 1 in 30, with highs of 1 in 20 in some parts of the city.[24]

Response by sector

National Health Service

NHS Nightingale Hospital London
NHS Nightingale Hospital London

With a high number of cases, older populations and lower number of pre-COVID-19 critical care beds, district general hospitals, located around the centre of London were found in an analysis by Edge Health, to have experienced significant demand.[25] On the evening of 19 March, Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow said it had no critical care capacity left and was contacting neighbouring hospitals about transferring patients who need critical care to other sites.[26] On 4 April, Watford General Hospital also declared a "critical incident".[27]

Meanwhile, on 24 March, health secretary Matt Hancock said that a temporary new hospital, the NHS Nightingale Hospital, was to be opened in the ExCeL Centre in east London the following week. This critical care hospital would provide up to 4,000 extra critical care beds for London.[28] The London hospital opened on 3 April,[29] and received its first patients on 7 April.[30] As other London hospitals increased critical care capacity, the Nightingale hospital treated 51 patients in its first three weeks,[31] and on 4 May was set to be placed "on standby", accepting no further patients.[32]

The number of people in London hospitals for COVID-19 peaked on 11 April, according to week-on-week change data.[33]

Public transport

Stay at home and social distancing notices London Underground March 2020
Stay at home and social distancing notices London Underground March 2020

The Waterloo & City line, several tube stations and the Night Tube were suspended on 19 March,[34] with the Mayor of London and Transport for London (TfL) urging people to only use public transport if absolutely essential so that it can be used by critical workers.[35] From 20 March, 40 tube stations were closed.[34] From 25 March, London Underground measures to combat the spread of the virus by slowing the flow of passengers onto platforms included the imposition of queuing at ticket gates and turning off some escalators.[36]

On 20 March, Southeastern became the first train operating company to announce a reduced timetable, which would come into use from 23 March.[37] From 30 March, the Gatwick Express service was suspended due to significantly reduced demand for travel to the airport.[38]

On 21 March, TfL closed the Emirates Air Line cable car until further notice.[39]

On 25 March, London City Airport announced it would temporarily close due to the coronavirus outbreak.[40] Heathrow Airport closed one runway from 6 April, while Gatwick Airport closed one of its two terminals, and said its runway would open for scheduled flights only between 2pm and 10pm.[41]

The Shard illuminated in blue to support the NHS in May 2020
The Shard illuminated in blue to support the NHS in May 2020

In April, TfL trialled changes encouraging passengers to board London buses by the middle or rear doors to lessen the risks to drivers, after the deaths of 14 TfL workers including nine drivers.[42] This measure was extended to all routes on 20 April, and passengers were no longer required to pay, so they did not need to use the card reader near the driver.[43]

A barren Harrow-on-the-Hill station during the pandemic in August 2020
A barren Harrow-on-the-Hill station during the pandemic in August 2020

On 22 April, London mayor Sadiq Khan warned that TfL could run out of money to pay staff by the end of April unless the government stepped in.[44] Two days later, TfL announced it was furloughing around 7,000 employees, about a quarter of its staff, to help mitigate a 90% reduction in fare revenues. Since London entered lockdown on 23 March, Tube journeys had fallen by 95% and bus journeys by 85%, though TfL continued to operate limited services to allow "essential travel" for key workers.[45] Without government financial support for TfL, London Assembly members warned that Crossrail, the Northern line extension and other projects such as step-free schemes at tube stations could be delayed.[46] On 7 May, it was reported that TfL had requested £2 billion in state aid to keep services running until September 2020.[47] On 12 May, TfL documents warned it expected to lose £4bn due to the pandemic and said it needed £3.2bn to balance a proposed emergency budget for 2021, having lost 90% of its overall income. Without an agreement with the government, deputy mayor for transport Heidi Alexander said TfL might have to issue a "Section 114 notice" – the equivalent of a public body going bust.[48] On 14 May, the UK Government agreed £1.6bn in emergency funding to keep Tube and bus services running until September.[49]

Education

By 17 March, most universities in London had suspended face-to-face learning or were planning to do so by 23 March, many moving classes online.[50] It was announced on 18 March that schools in London would close by 20 March, as in the rest of the UK.[51]

During the third wave of infections in the UK in early 2021, a third lockdown was introduced in England with all schools shutting down until 8 March.[52] at the earliest.[53][54]

See also

References

  1. ^ https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/cases?areaType=region&areaName=London
  2. ^ a b c d "Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK". gov.uk. Archived from the original on 14 April 2020. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  3. ^ a b c https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/healthcare?areaType=nhsregion&areaName=London
  4. ^ The UK Government does not publish the number of recovered cases.
  5. ^ a b c "Coronavirus numbers in London". London.Gov.UK. Mayor of London. 3 July 2020. Archived from the original on 27 April 2020. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  6. ^ a b c d e https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/deaths?areaType=region&areaName=London
  7. ^ "Coronavirus: Ninth case found in UK". BBC News. 12 February 2020. Archived from the original on 12 February 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
  8. ^ "Coronavirus: Pictures show London's empty streets". BBC News. 17 March 2020. Archived from the original on 18 March 2020. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
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  10. ^ O'Carroll, Lisa (16 March 2020). "Coronavirus spreading fastest in UK in London". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 18 March 2020. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  11. ^ Morris, Chris; Barnes, Oliver (29 April 2020). "Coronavirus: Which regions have been worst hit?". BBC News. BBC. Archived from the original on 30 April 2020. Retrieved 30 April 2020.
  12. ^ "London coronavirus cases: Number of Covid-19 infections in your borough". CityAM. 18 March 2020. Archived from the original on 19 March 2020. Retrieved 19 March 2020.
  13. ^ Pidd, Helen; Barr, Caerlaiin; Mohdin, Aamna (1 May 2020). "Calls for health funding to be prioritised as poor bear brunt of Covid-19". Guardian. Archived from the original on 3 May 2020. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
  14. ^ Mohdin, Aamna (1 May 2020). "'Every day I hear about a Covid-19 death': life in the UK's worst-affected area". Guardian. Archived from the original on 3 May 2020. Retrieved 3 May 2020.
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  16. ^ "Coronavirus: London placed on Covid-19 watch-list as cases rise". 25 September 2020. Retrieved 7 October 2020 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
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  20. ^ Roxby, Philippa (11 December 2020). "Covid: London's coronavirus levels rising, ONS says". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
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  23. ^ Francis, Sam (19 December 2020). "Covid: Christmas Tier-4 heartbreak for Londoners". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
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  37. ^ Kent Coronavirus southeastern makes major Archived 20 March 2020 at the Wayback Machine www.kentlive.news
  38. ^ Powling, Joshua (26 March 2020). "Coronavirus: Gatwick Express trains suspended with further reductions to Southern and Thameslink services". Hastings & St Leonards Observer. Archived from the original on 11 April 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
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External links

This page was last edited on 5 April 2021, at 06:40
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