How Camden and Haringey’s coronavirus figures compare to the last time we went into lockdown
- Credit: PA
Coronavirus infections in Camden and Haringey are currently lower than in the lead-up to the March lockdown.
But experts have warned against complacency, saying hospital admissions are on the rise.
Government introduced new rules this week in an effort to curb an “exponential” spread, with cases doubling every week.
But in Hampstead and Highgate there is no sign yet of the strain on public services which occurred in March.
According to the Office for National Statistics, Camden has had no hospital deaths since early July.
Haringey has had one in the same period, more than a month ago.
Although parts of London now have infection rates higher than in the week before the March lockdown, hospitalisation figures remain low.
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On March 23, the day lockdown began, 637 people were hospitalised in London with Covid-19.
Last Sunday, September 20, the number was 38.
Scientists stressed there was no evidence the virus had become less deadly.
They said new infections were concentrated in those aged 20 to 40, who are less likely to require hospitalisation.
But they warned that young people would inevitably spread the disease to elderly and vulnerable contacts.
In the week to September 14, Camden recorded a daily average of 7.1 new cases, compared to 17 per day in the week before lockdown.
In Haringey, the latest daily average was nine new cases, compared to 12.7 in the week before lockdown.
But experts cautioned that infection rates were always out of date, as it takes weeks for a carrier to show symptoms and get tested.
This was what happened during the first wave.
Despite the March 23 lockdown, new infections rose for weeks.
By the week to April 6, Haringey’s average daily infection rate had jumped from 12.7 to 18.9.
Dr Daniel Davis, from UCLH, is studying the Camden population as part of the national effort to produce a vaccine.
He said: “Because testing is more available, we are identifying more people who are not as sick. By definition, if you were diagnosed in April, it meant you were sick enough to be hospitalised.”
But, he warned: “The uptick in hospitalisations has started. There has definitely been a turn in what’s coming through the front door at UCLH.”
The true extent of the latest outbreak will not be known for weeks.
It will take even longer to discern whether new rules have had any impact.