London Sees Rise in Virus Cases as National Decline Slows


London’s virus infections are rising, while the rate of decline of the disease nationally is slowing, a new study suggested.

The Imperial College London survey showed 66 people per 10,000 people had the disease in London between Feb. 13 and Feb. 23. That was up from 53 people per 10,000 people between Feb. 4 to Feb. 12. The disease also gained a stronger foothold in the south-east of England and the Midlands, the study showed.

U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock described the figures as “some cause for concern.”

“Our hard-won progress may be slowing down and even reversing in some regions,” Hancock said in a statement. “It is important we remain vigilant.”

Though total infections are reducing across England, the study shows the continuing threat from the pandemic even as the British government continues to roll out vaccines. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set out a plan to re-open the economy in phases in the coming months, with the bulk of restrictions ending by June 21.

Since interim findings were published last month, prevalence rose “slightly” in London, the South East, East Midlands and West Midlands but fell in all other regions, according to the study.

Some 47 people people per 10,000 people had the disease nationally in the period Feb. 13 to Feb. 23, dropping from 51 people per 10,000 people between Feb. 4 to Feb. 12.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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