London Mayor Sadiq Khan has urged the government to act “rapidly” to check the spread of monkeypox in the British capital.
He said he had written to health secretary Steve Barclay, calling for “early and coordinated” actions to protect London which accounted for 71 per cent of the recent monkeypox cases reported in the country.
UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) data showed that there were 1,856 confirmed cases in Britain, including 1,778 in England as of July 14.
It said a “significant majority” of the cases were in London where 1,229 infections were recorded.
According to the agency, 99.4 per cent of the patients in the UK were men this year with 1,633 out of the 1644 cases where gender breakdown is available being males.
In a series of tweets on Thursday, Khan said: “Today, I have written to the Health Secretary over the growing number of monkeypox cases in London and the UK.”
“London is currently seeing the highest rate of infection and I’m deeply concerned that reported monkeypox cases have doubled in less than a week.”
“If we have learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that early action and coordination is vital to get ahead of the curve.”
“The Government must rapidly ensure that there’s a coordinated and resourced approach to tackle the threat faced by monkeypox now.”
“I have let the Secretary of State know that City Hall will do everything it can to ensure Londoners have the information and support they need.”
Monkeypox was most commonly seen in central and west Africa but there was a recent increase in cases in the UK and other parts of the world where it had not been seen before, the health department said.
Young children, pregnant women and immunocompromised people were more vulnerable to the diseases than others, it added.
The Department for Health and Social Care said the government was providing more than £3.4 billion to local authorities to strengthen essential frontline services including sexual health services.