London is the worst-hit area for coronavirus cases during the virus’ winter peak.
As the coronavirus crisis deepens over the winter, London is facing a serious health crisis. That’s been brought home today, as Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has formally declared a “major incident” in the capital as a result of surging coronavirus cases. After consulting with NHS trusts in London, emergency services, local authorities, and Public Health England, the Mayor declared the state of emergency, “because the threat this virus poses to our city is at crisis point”.
.@MayorofLondon has today declared a ‘major incident’ due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus across the capital and the increase of Covid-19 cases in hospitals, which has left the NHS at risk of being overwhelmed.
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— Mayor’s Press Office (@LDN_pressoffice) January 8, 2021
The purpose of declaring a major incident is to fast-track help for the NHS, and to coordinate responses for emergency services. As The Guardian notes, they have previously been declared in London for events such as the Grenfell Tower disaster, and Westminster Bridge and London Bridge terror attacks. This time, it has been declared due to the capital’s soaring coronavirus caseload, with 1000 in every 100,000 people in the capital testing positive for the virus, and over 800 people per day being admitted to hospital with coronavirus.
In a statement, Khan said “the situation in London is now critical with the spread of the virus out of control”, and urged Londoners “to please stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary for you to leave”. The Mayor has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, asking for more financial aid for anyone self-isolating and unable to work, to close places of worship, and for face masks to be worn in crowded places outside, such as supermarket queues. He’s also warned that the NHS in London could be overwhelmed if further measures aren’t taken – so please, continue to stay at home and take every precaution against the virus.
Here are the current rules for the nationwide lockdown.
Also published on Medium.