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Coronavirus cases reach record levels in divided London

(Xinhua)    09:14, November 16, 2020

A man wearing a face mask walks on a street in London, Britain, on Nov. 12, 2020. (Xinhua/Han Yan)

There was further evidence of a divided city, with "more robust" weekly figures revealing hotspots in east London boroughs such as Havering, Redbridge and Newham, but much lower rates in areas such as Kensington and Chelsea, Southwark and Lewisham.

LONDON, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- The number of coronavirus cases diagnosed in London has reached record levels, but latest official figures showed that the British capital is a divided city, with a slowing in some boroughs but increases in others.

In the most recent week of complete data (Nov. 2 to Nov. 8), 14,794 cases were identified in London, a rate of 165 cases per 100,000 population, the Greater London Authority said Friday on its website.

Public Health England said the seven-day rate of London was the highest rate on record, surpassing the figure of 157.8 on Oct. 26.

People wearing face masks walk out of a coffee shop in London, Britain, on Nov. 12, 2020. (Xinhua/Han Yan)

Meanwhile, according to the British government, London's coronavirus reproduction number, also known as the R number, is between 1.0 and 1.2, which means the infection is still rising, although it is not far from being below 1.0 when the infection rate would be in retreat and make a return to some form of normality possible.

An expert said the increase in London, which mirrors a nationwide peak in new cases, probably corresponded with rising infection rates at the start of the month and showed why the second national lockdown was required, the London-based Evening Standard newspaper reported.

On Nov. 5, England started to impose a month-long national lockdown until Dec. 2, the second of its kind since the coronavirus outbreak in Britain, in a bid to quell the resurgence of coronavirus.

The rise is also likely to have been caused by an increase in the number of Londoners getting tested, after a fall in testing in the half-term holidays, the newspaper said.

However, there was further evidence of a divided city, with "more robust" weekly figures revealing hotspots in east London boroughs such as Havering, Redbridge and Newham, but much lower rates in areas such as Kensington and Chelsea, Southwark and Lewisham.

In the last seven days, case rates have increased in 20 boroughs and decreased in 12, with Havering hitting the highest rate in the capital of 267.4, the newspaper said.

There was also concern about an increased number of infections in people over 60, in particular the number of Londoners over 80, who are most at risk, contracting the virus, said the newspaper.

Britain is the first European nation to record more than 50,000 coronavirus deaths. It is the fifth country in the world to hit the tragic milestone, following the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

People wearing face masks walk in a bus stop in London, Britain, on Nov. 12, 2020. (Xinhua/Han Yan)

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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