NHS will be 'unable to cope' if Covid infection rates continue to rise
NHS will be ‘unable to cope’ if Covid infection rates continue to rise and could ‘soon be back to where it was in April’ unless people ‘strictly’ follow new rules, warn medical leaders
- Number of coronavirus patients in hospital has increased to thousands per day
- Leading medical official Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard gave stark warning to Britons
- She says NHS could soon return to April levels of pressure if cases keep rising
The NHS will be unable to cope if coronavirus infection rates across the country continue to rise, medical leaders have warned.
Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard, the chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges which represents the UK and Ireland’s 24 medical royal colleges, said that people need to strictly follow restrictions or the NHS could be ‘unable to cope’.
She told BBC Breakfast: ‘Given the recent dramatic spike in both the number of cases and hospital admissions it is clear that we could soon be back to where we were in April if we are not all extremely careful.’
She revealed that the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 over the past month has increased from a ‘few hundred people per day’ to ‘thousands’.
Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard, the chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, has warned demand on the NHS could return to April levels
She told BBC Breakfast: ‘Given the recent dramatic spike in both the number of cases and hospital admissions it is clear that we could soon be back to where we were in April if we are not all extremely careful’
She said: ‘So right now, we have got over 3,100 people in hospital with coronavirus around the UK. Actually 500 of those are in ITU (Intensive Therapy Unit) beds, that’s really worrying.
‘A month ago we only had 60 people in the whole of the UK in ITU beds.So we are seeing a very worrying trend at the moment.’
Asked about Covid-19 hotspots, where cases are rising, she added: ‘We have all heard in the news about the challenges in the north-east and north-west of England.
‘But there are other hotspots too. A lot of cities are now seeing serious problems.
‘I’m based in the Midlands and we are seeing problems in Birmingham, but we are also seeing issues in Coventry, Nottingham, and it’s working further south.
‘We are also seeing some interesting patterns starting to happen in London again. So yes this is a problem actually affecting all four nations of the UK.’
Britain yesterday recorded 14,162 more coronavirus cases, with the number of people testing positive for the disease every day doubling in a fortnight.
Data from last Tuesday, which would normally be used to measure how much the UK’s outbreak has grown in the last week, is unreliable due to a catastrophic counting error at Public Health England.
She revealed that the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 over the past month has increased from a ‘few hundred people per day’ to ‘thousands’
She said: ‘So right now, we have got over 3,100 people in hospital with coronavirus around the UK. Actually 500 of those are in ITU (Intensive Therapy Unit) beds, that’s really worrying’
It means Wednesday September 23 is the most recent point of reference — there were just 6,178 cases on that date.
Another 70 deaths from coronavirus were announced by health chiefs, bringing the country’s total death toll to 42,515. This marked a very slight drop on last Wednesday when 71 deaths were recorded. Death tallies were not affected by the counting error, meaning figures from last week can still be used as a point of reference.
It comes as ten million people living in the North of England are to be hit with tougher lockdown restrictions, including the closure of pubs and restaurants, from Monday in a bid to bring spiralling coronavirus infection figures under control, according to reports.
In a move which could spark outrage among leaders in the affected cities and a possible backbench rebellion among Tory MPs, Boris Johnson will ignore critics and impose Tier Three restrictions – the highest level of a new alert system – in Covid-hit areas of the north.
Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle – three cities which have continued to see infection rises despite local lockdowns – will all be plunged into the Tier Three lockdown.
Hospitality businesses are set to be shut under the new measures, but shops, offices and schools will stay open, the paper reports.
Ministers are still said to be debating plans for hairdressers and leisure facilities, while Mr Johnson is considering making extra money available for the Tier Three lockdown cities – including a possible ‘local furlough’, reports the I.
The Prime Minister will reportedly make the announcement despite growing talk of a rebellion among backbench Tory MPs against current restrictions in England – in particular the 10pm hospitality curfew.
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