ore than two thirds of Covid-19 cases in London are now believed to be the Delta variant, first identified in India, The Standard understands.
Latest weekly figures show that in the capital up to May 31 there had been 1,526 cases of the B1.617.2 variant detected– 247 of them individuals who had travelled into the UK.
The total was up from 991 for the previous week.
Hillingdon has had the highest number of cases, 148, according to data up to June 2, followed by Croydon on 137, Hounslow 118, Ealing 113, Brent 108 and Greenwich 100.
However, these figures are around two weeks out-of-date as it takes this length of time for genomic sequencing to identify variants.
So given that the Delta B1.617.2 variant is now dominant in London, a truer picture of the Covid and mutation situation is revealed by the figures for all cases.
The three boroughs with the highest seven-day rates per 100,000 people in the week to May 29 were:
- Kingston at 81.1, with 144 confirmed infections in that week, up 74 (105.7%) on the previous week.
- Lambeth at 55.2, with 180 cases, up 31 (20.8%)
- Hounslow on 55.2, with 150 cases, up six (4.2%)
Professor Kevin Fenton, London Regional Director for Public Health England, said: “We are continuing to see gradual increases in cases across London, including of the Delta variant.
“Despite these increases, the number of people being admitted to hospital remains stable.
“But we know more cases can lead to more hospitalisations, so we must keep transmission down whilst we continue the vaccine roll-out, including getting second doses to the most vulnerable.”
He also explained: “To prevent the spread, we are continuously reviewing our targeted response in areas where variants have been identified, including surge testing, enhanced contact tracing and increasing vaccine availability.
“Everyone must play their part.
“Be on the lookout for the tell-tale symptoms of coronavirus infection and get tested as soon as possible if you or close contacts feel unwell. If you are in contact with others, get tested regularly, whether you have symptoms or not. Free, quicker easy to use lateral flow tests are now available for everyone to check for infection.
“Vaccines remain your best and most effective protection against hospitalisation and death from the coronavirus, so please take up both doses of the vaccine when offered, encouraging friends and family to do the same.”
Health chiefs believe that people who get the Delta variant may be more than twice as likely to be hospitalised as people with other strains, though most individuals admitted have not been vaccinated.
- A further 669 confirmed Covid-19 cases were announced for London yesterday, by far the biggest rise in recent weeks.
- The seven-day rate for London as a whole was 30.5 per 100,000 in the week to May 29 (or 2,735 cases), up 37.7 per cent on the previous week.
- However, the rate for Londoners aged 60 and over nudged down to 8.8, compared to 34.8 for those 59 and younger.
- The age group with the highest rate was ten to 14-year-olds at 64.5, though this may be down to more testing in schools.
- In Kingston, the rate for ten to 14-year-olds was 256.3.
- There were 63 coronavirus incidents/situations in schools and other settings in the capital over the most recent four-week period, including 28 in the most recent week at the end of May. These can range from small outbreaks to a staff member having to self-isolated because of suspected Covid.
- Cases in schools are understood to reflect the broader disease level in the community, as well as some transmission between pupils.
The number of coronavirus patients in London’s hospitals has gone up slightly to 241.
However, they are generally younger than in previous waves and are now more likely to not be as severely ill and to be treated on general or acute wards rather than intensive care.
While some boroughs have high number of Delta variant cases, such as Croydon, they may be less of a concern than some other areas which have seen steeper rises in overall infections, and where cases are believed to be less under control, partly because they are not able to be traced back in some cases to travellers.
The borough-by-borough figures for cases of the Delta variant, up to June 2 and which total just under 1,690, so far are:
- Barking and Dagenham 23
- Barnet 39
- Bexley 43
- Brent 108
- Bromley 86
- Camden 28
- City of London – less than five
- Croydon 137
- Ealing 113
- Enfield 38
- Greenwich 100
- Hackney 37
- Hammersmith and Fulham 23
- Haringey 42
- Harrow 84
- Havering 16
- Hillingdon 148
- Hounslow 118
- Islington 15
- Kensington and Chelsea 14
- Kingston 40
- Lambeth 68
- Lewisham 26
- Merton 18
- Newham 78
- Redbridge 52
- Richmond 14
- Southwark 25
- Sutton 17
- Tower Hamlets 54
- Waltham Forest 27
- Wandsworth 17
- Westminster 36