New infections of Covid-19 rose sharply in both Kingston and Epsom recently according to the latest data released by Public Health England (PHE).

The neighbouring boroughs at the south west edge of London both saw significant increases in the number of new cases they reported in the seven days up to October 17 as per the PHE data.

In Kingston, there were 754 new Covid-19 cases over the period, up 108 or 16.7 per cent on the previous figure.

The borough's infection rate stood at 420.9 cases per 100,000 people, which was under the UK-wide average of 465.4.

Meanwhile in Epsom and Ewell there were 360 new coronavirus cases up to October 17, an increase of 73 or 25.4 per cent from the previous week's figure.

The borough's infection rate per 100,000 people was higher than Kingston's, at 444.4.

The data follows health leaders' concerns regarding the government's strategy at handling the virus and the current pressures on NHS services.

Professor Stephen Powis told a Downing Street press conference this week there are just over 6,000 patients with Covid-19 in main hospitals "which is back to where we were in the middle of September".

"And I anticipate that over the next week or two that number will increase because infection rates are increasing," he added. "It undoubtedly feels exceptionally busy in the NHS and our NHS organisations are telling us that all the time."

The government however insist that existing strain on NHS workers due to the pandemic and other pressures does not yet necessitate changing their current 'Plan A', which revolves around booster vaccines but no extra measures such as mandatory mask wearing or restrictions on indoor gatherings.

Speaking on a visit to the Covid-19 vaccine centre at the Little Venice Sports Centre in London on Friday (October 22), Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "Our autumn and winter plan always predicted that cases would rise around about now and we’re certainly seeing that in the numbers."

He added that we are seeing "high levels of infection" but suggested they were not outside the parameters of what was predicted. "But it’s very important that people do follow the guidance on general behaviour, on being cautious, on wearing masks in confined places where you’re meeting people you don’t normally meet. Wear a mask, wash hands, ventilation, all that kind of thing, but also get your booster jab, and that’s the key message that we want to get across," he said.

Click here to view the latest Covid-19 data where you live.