The seven-day infection rate for pensioners aged 85 to 89 jumped 426 per cent in the week to December 29 to 824 confirmed infections per 100,000, compared with a fortnight earlier.
It was up 422 per cent to 949 cases per 100,000 for the 75 to 79 year age group, 406 per cent for 80 to 84-year-olds, and 408 per cent for individuals aged 90 and over.
The rate rose 377 per cent in the 70 to 74 age group, and by just over 300 per cent for Londoners aged 65 to 69.
The large increases are likely to be at least partly driven by intergenerational mixing over the festive period.
London’s public health chief Professor Kevin Fenton told The Standard: “Christmas is over but unfortunately Covid-19 is not and London now faces the hard reality of January with the virus still having a big impact throughout the city.
“We still have very high daily case numbers and worryingly our rates in the over 60s are on a steep upwards trajectory, which may translate into increased hospital admissions in the coming weeks. This is on top of already high numbers of people in hospital, putting further pressure on health services.”
Health chiefs will be watching how these rises in cases among older age groups impact on hospitalisations as they are particularly vulnerable to the virus but are now largely boosted and studies have shown Omircon is milder than Delta.
While the number of Covid patients in London’s hospitals is rising, to 3,848 as of Tuesday, just under half the level of the second wave peak, daily admissions have fallen in recent days and the number so ill that they are on ventilators, 238, has not gone up rapidly.
A further 20,080 confirmed Covid cases were announced for London on Monday, down from recent highs of over 27,000, raising hopes that the Omicron wave may have peaked in the capital.
It is too early to say that with any certainty given the impact of more social mixing at New Year and of the return to school is yet to be seen, and some people may have delayed getting tested in recent days.
However, there are hopes that the Omicron surge may not overwhelm the NHS – and require tougher restrictions – as many people have voluntarily scaled back their social mixing and taken other precautions to reduce the spread of the virus.
The highest seven-day rate in the capital is still among Londoners aged 20 to 24, at 2,767, however this is an increase of just 22 per cent on a fortnight ago, followed by the 25 to 29 age group on 2,520, a fall of 12.6 per cent.
However, there were also rises of 215 per cent for Londoners aged 60 to 64, 158 per cent for those aged 55 to 59, and 122 per cent for the 50 to 54 age group.
Prof Fenton appealed: “Now is the time for all of us, whether living, working or socialising in the city, to redouble our efforts to help suppress the transmission of the virus and reduce the disruption it continues to cause.
“Please stick to working from home and wearing face coverings on public transport, in shops and other crowded or enclosed spaces. Take a lateral flow test immediately before socialising and be sure to self-isolate if you feel unwell and take a PCR test.”
He added: “Getting vaccinated remains so important. You are far more likely to end up in hospital as a result of Covid-19 if you are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated. So get your first dose, second dose and booster to ensure you get the best protection against infection and severe disease.”
Daily deaths of individuals, within 28 days of testing positive for Covid, have risen but slowly, with 14 such fatalities announced yesterday for London.