Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has warned that the capital is at risk of a more “deadly second wave” and more powers are needed to enforce local lockdowns.
Khan told the London Health Board in a meeting that lessons need to be learned quickly from the first wave as 8,222 Londoners lost their lives to Covid by 5 June.
He urged health chiefs not to self-congratulate as “none of us are in the mood for celebration.”
The Mayor said, “We may have passed the peak of this crisis but the pandemic is clearly not over.
“There is still a serious threat of a deadly second wave. To avoid this, it’s going to be crucial we make a clear commitment to learn the lessons from the past few months and apply them quickly.”
Khan said that “Leicester has just announced an extension of lockdown. We could well be having local challenges.
“I’ve written to Matt Hancock because I’m concerned whether we have got the levers we need if, God forbid, if we needed to have a Leicester-type local lockdown, whether it’s specific to an organisation or on geographical boundaries. I’m not sure we are quite ready.”
We have lost more than 8,000 Londoners at least. The bad news is we could have more deaths going forward.”
Professor Kevin Fenton, London regional director of Public Health England said, “The increases in some boroughs that have been reported are mainly sporadic and are being uncovered as we scale-up testing and contact tracing activity across the city.”
There could be further localised lockdowns which could be “just days away” following a Public Health England (PHE) “at risk” list.
PHE and the Department for Health are “working collaboratively” and are looking at 36 areas in England where cases of Covid are increasing, according to the broadcaster.