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There have been more than 600 confirmed cases of coronavirus in London

London has not yet hit the peak of the coronavirus outbreak, the capital’s joint-chief nurse has warned.

Martin Machray said in his 35 years of medical care he had never experienced an epidemic like it.

More than 30 people have died in London from the virus, and hundreds more have been confirmed to have the disease.

Mr Machray said staff would be redeployed around hospitals in order to cope with the rise in demand on the NHS.

“We do know we are not at the top yet,” he said. “We do know that there are more people who are going to be ill and affected by this.

“We have this short-term horizon where we are making sure London is always ready for the health needs of its population, and it is.

“Yes, we will cope, we will put in the plans to do that, and that means some staff might be asked to do things they wouldn’t normally be doing.”

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Martin Machray is the joint-chief nurse for NHS England in London

Earlier the prime minister said the virus was spreading faster in London than in other parts of the UK.

Latest figures on Wednesday night show that 953 people in the capital have been confirmed to have tested positive for coronavirus.

Mr Machray also answered concerns about a lack of face masks and protective equipment for front-line staff.

He said: “The challenge is we are in unprecedented situations where these normal slower systems of kit have been as challenged as getting the right number of beds and the right number of staff.

“We have enough ventilators for the foreseeable part of the plan, and we have plans to increase the number of ventilators to meet the need we envisage having.”

Mr Machray added: “The kit is there. We have got to train the people to use it.”

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