There were no new coronavirus (Covid-19) cases reported in London for an entire 24-hour period on Monday of this week.
Although it is not yet certain this was not due to logging error, the reduction is reflective of a sustained decline of new cases in the capital, which once had the highest infection rate in the UK.
There were 19 cases in London reported the previous day and the following day, Tuesday, saw no new deaths in London nor the South East of England.
London’s reproduction rate (R) recently fell to the lowest in the UK, although the nationwide level has begun to rise again.
The most recent research into this area shows that on average, the R rate is hovering between 0.7 and one. It must be kept under one to be considered under control.
But the Department of Health and Social Care has stressed that the new data ‘does not mean the epidemic is tailing off’.
It explained that while new cases are reported each day, the dates they originate from cover the previous few days. Due to this, there are ‘few cases reported for the most recent date on the chart’.
Data for recent days is constantly being revised as more information becomes available, and lab-confirmed positive cases are attributed to the day the first specimen was taken from the person being tested.
The Government recently eased restrictions on the lockdown, including by allowing the public to move to unlimited outdoors exercise, but the potential effect of this is not expected to be seen for some weeks yet.
In tonight’s Government briefing, health secretary Matt Hancock stated that 17% of Londoners have already had Covid-19, on the basis of antibody tests thus far.