London's pandemic peak is likely two to four weeks away, Sadiq Khan says

30 March 2020, 17:03 | Updated: 30 March 2020, 17:09

By Fiona Jones

The London Mayor tells LBC the capital's pandemic peak is likely two to four weeks away.

LBC's Ian Payne asked Sadiq Khan when the experts expect the peak of coronavirus cases to be in London, which is said to be two weeks ahead of the rest of the country.

"I'm afraid we're probably between two to four weeks away of the peak. It's not an exact science, I'm afraid," Mr Khan said, proving this by commenting that if the same question was asked last week he'd have said the pandemic peak was probably four to six weeks away.

The experts explained to the Mayor that modelling and examination of other countries doesn't necessarily work as each country is different and the pace of this virus is faster than people can examine.

NHS Nightingale will be taking in 500 patients this week, says the London Mayor
NHS Nightingale will be taking in 500 patients this week, says the London Mayor. Picture: PA

"The behavioural change we've now got in place...we won't see the benefits for about two weeks so we think roughly speaking, we're two to four weeks away from the peak," Mr Khan said, "the peak means the worst part of it for us. That means the largest number of people will be having the virus and unfortunately it means the largest number of deaths.

"We've already had in London alone almost 600 deaths attributed to Covid-19, in other words people who have passed who have had Covid-19 and within the peak the worst is two to four weeks away."

Sadiq Khan also told LBC the NHS Nightingale the 4,000 patient hospital being set up in the ExCel centre, will start treating people this week.

"Across all our hospitals in London, on average if you have them all up, we have about 800 intensive care unit beds. We need 8000. So what Nightingale's going to do is this week start the first 500 beds and what other hospitals across London will do is try and reconfigure their provision to try and find more intensive care units," he explained.

NHS England has announced that the number of people who have died in England after contracting coronavirus is now 1,284 - a rise of 159 from yesterday.