Covid cases have increased fourfold over the past month in some areas of east London, according to new data.
Figures from Public Health England show a 300 per cent increase in cases since the first week of June in parts of east London.
This comes as health secretary Sajid Javid confirmed today (July 12) that the lifting of restrictions on July 19, including no longer requiring people to wear facemasks, is the “most responsible decision we can take”.
New figures Tower Hamlets is one of the worst affected areas in east London, with 344 cases per 100,000 people reported last week.
In the seven days leading up to June 7, the borough saw 253 cases; one month later, this figure has risen to 1,117, an increase of 341 pc.
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In Redbridge, there were 223 cases per 100,000 people in the first week of July, spiralling from 107 cases in June to 681 this month.
Newham cases shot up from 149 to 705 over the past month, and in Havering cases have increased from 73 to 497.
Barking and Dagenham saw just 58 people testing positive for Covid in June, but last week there were 396 reported cases in the borough.
The number of Delta variant Covid cases continues to rise week on week, and chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, Dr Jenny Harries, has urged people to get both vaccines.
Nationally, government figures show 34,471 new people had a confirmed positive test result reported today, a 28 pc increase on the week before.
Mr Javid stressed now was the time to lift restrictions.
He said: “To those who say why take this step now, I say if not now, when?”
“There will never be a perfect time to take this step because we simply cannot eradicate this virus – whether we like it or not, coronavirus is not going away,” he added.
Responding to Mr Javid’s announcement, shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the health secretary has taken a “high risk, fatalistic” approach to tackling Covid.
Mr Ashworth accused him of putting his “foot down on the accelerator while throwing the seatbelts off”, instead of being cautious.