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Covid-19: London now a hotbed; UK coronavirus death toll hits 144

Several boroughs in London – such as Westminster, Southwark, Lambeth – have become hotbeds of coronavirus as the Boris Johnson government scrambles to deal with the pandemic that has brought large parts of London and the UK to a standstill.

Latest figures put the death toll across the UK at 144, with the number of cases climbing to 3,269; 79 people have recovered. Sections of London’s transport network have been closed, while 20,000 military personnel are on stand-by to assist civil authorities.

The London boroughs with the most cases are Southwark (82), Lambeth (81), Westminster (78), Wandsworth (75), Brent (66), Kensington and Chelsea (57), Harrow (56) and Ealing (53). Brent, Harrow and Ealing are home to many members of the Indian diaspora.

New UK measures include asking thousands of recently retired doctors and nurses to return to the National Health Service to help deal with the pandemic. Chancellor Rishi Sunak is due to announce more financial support across the economy.

Queen Elizabeth, 93, moved from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle, where Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, 98, joined her from the Sandringham estate. The monarch said the UK is “entering a period of great concern and uncertainty”.

In a statement, she said: “Our nation’s history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one. We are all being advised to change our normal routines and regular patterns of life for the greater good of the communities we live in and, in particular, to protect the most vulnerable within them”.

“At times such as these, I am reminded that our nation’s history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts with a focus on the common goal.”

She added: “Many of us will need to find new ways of staying in touch with each other and making sure that loved ones are safe. I am certain we are up to that challenge. You can be assured that my family and I stand ready to play our part.

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