“The situation in London is now critical with the spread of the virus out of control,” Khan said in a statement.
“The number of cases in London has increased rapidly with more than a third more patients being treated in our hospitals now compared to the peak of the pandemic last April,” he said.
He said the National Health Service (NHS) is “at risk of being overwhelmed” and the city will “run out of beds for patients in the next couple of weeks unless the spread of the virus slows down drastically.”
“We are declaring a major incident because the threat this virus poses to our city is at crisis point. If we do not take immediate action now, our NHS could be overwhelmed and more people will die,” he said.
He urged Londoners to “stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary for you to leave.”
Khan’s office said he has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking for greater financial support for Londoners who need to self-isolate and are not able to work.
He also urged the UK government to close places of worship and to order people to wear face masks routinely outside of the home, including in supermarket queues and other outdoor places that may be crowded.
“Major incidents” have previously been declared for the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017, the 2017 terror attacks at Westminster Bridge and London Bridge, and the Croydon tram crash in November 2016.
Earlier this week, Boris Johnson announced the third national lockdown to curb the spread of a new CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus variant, which he said has a 50 to 70 percent faster rate of transmission.
Data published by the Office for National Statistics showed that around one in 30 people in London have been infected with the virus.
CCP virus cases in London have exceeded 1,000 per 100,000, putting great pressure on the NHS, the mayor’s office said on Friday.
It said the number of patients in London hospitals grew by 27 percent between Dec. 30 and Jan. 6, and the number on mechanical ventilation grew by 42 percent.
Over the last three days, 477 deaths were announced in London hospitals following a positive test for CCP virus, said the office.
The London Ambulance Service is receiving up to 8,000 emergency calls a day, 45 percent higher than on a typical busy day.
Simon Veazey contributed to this report.