Covid-19 infection rates are rising across south London today (Friday, November 26) as concern grows over the spread of a new, concerning variant of the virus.

The government said as of 9am on Friday, there had been a further 50,091 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK, the highest reported daily figure since October 21.

It added that a further 160 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Friday, bringing the UK total to 144,593.

According to Public Health England data, in south London weekly cases remained high with boroughs in the south west of the city generally reporting higher infection rates than those in the south east.

Richmond, for example recorded 1,143 new cases in the seven days up to seven days to November 21, a rise of 208 or 22.2 per cent from the previous week. Its infection rate of new cases per 100,000 people stood at 576.9.

On the other side of south London, new cases also increased in the week up to November 21 with narrowly smaller rises.

For example, in Lewisham there were 863 new Covid-19 infections over the period, up148 or 20.7 per cent. The borough's infection rate stood at 282.7.

The figures arrived amid growing concern about the spread of a new variant called B.1.1.529 or 'Nu' that was first detected in southern Africa.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid revealed Friday that the UK had placed several southern African countries on the UK's travel 'Red List', and said the 'Omicron' variant could be resistant to vaccines.

He said the new variant was already "of huge international concern", adding that it "is highly likely that it has now spread to other countries".

Javid went on: "We are concerned that this new variant may pose substantial risk to public health. The variant has an unusual large number of mutations. Yesterday the UK Health Security Agency classified B.1.1.529 as a new variant under investigation and the very technical group has designated it as a variant under investigation with very high priority."

The Health Secretary added early indications show the current vaccines "may be less effective against it".

Governments in Europe and North America have been criticised for failing to help distribute sufficient Covid-19 vaccinations in the Global South (Asia, Africa and Latin America) to prevent the ongoing spread of the virus worldwide. The more infections of Covid-19 there are, the more chances the virus has to mutate into strains like the 'Delta' or 'Nu' variants that can be more dangerous than previous types of Covid.

NHS authorities in south London meanwhile urged shoppers to "add the Covid-19 vaccine to their shopping list this weekend" to help stop the spread of the virus.

Below is a list of Covid-19 infection rates per 100,000 people for every south London borough in the seven days up to November 21.

Click here for the latest Covid-19 data were you live. 

  • Bromley - 393.1
  • Bexley - 361.0
  • Greenwich - 282.0
  • Lewisham - 282.7
  • Southwark - 237.5
  • Lambeth - 288.7
  • Croydon - 302.7
  • Sutton - 438.6
  • Merton - 408.3
  • Wandsworth - 413.7
  • Richmond - 576.9
  • Kingston - 440.4