TEN thousand desperately ill Covid patients, enough to fill 20 hospitals, have been admitted since Christmas.
And 50 per cent more victims of the pandemic are now being treated compared with the first peak in April, NHS boss Sir Simon Stevens revealed.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
10,000 desperately ill Covid patients, enough to fill 20 hospitals, have been admitted since ChristmasCredit: PA:Press Association
News of the escalation came as the UK daily virus death toll hit 1,162 — the second highest — taking the total here to 78,508Credit: PA:Press Association
In London, 800 new Covid sufferers a day are being admitted to wards — enough to fill one of the major hospitals.
As a result, the capital’s Nightingale hospital at the ExCel centre will start accepting patients again from next week to relieve pressure on swamped facilities.
News of the escalation came as the UK daily virus death toll hit 1,162 yesterday — the second highest — taking the total here to 78,508.
Sir Simon laid bare the shocking rise in cases that are threatening to overwhelm the NHS.
He told the Downing Street briefing that numbers were “accelerating very, very rapidly”.
He added: “The pressures are real and they are growing, and that is why it is vital that we all take the steps necessary to control the growth of infection.”
More than 30,000 Covid victims are on NHS wards — up 50 per cent on April’s peak.
And leaked documents show London’s hospitals are less than two weeks from being overwhelmed. The extent of the problem is highlighted in figures from Public Health England showing the Covid surge is far outstripping annual admissions of flu patients.
There were just under six patients per million in hospital with flu at the peak of the 2018-2019 season, and there were about 5.5 per million last year.
That compares with more than 17 people per million and rising now.
NHS boss Sir Simon Stevens revealed 50 per cent more victims of the pandemic are now being treated compared with the first peak in AprilCredit: AFP or licensors
Leaked documents show London’s hospitals are less than two weeks from being overwhelmedCredit: PA:Press Association
Sir Simon vented his anger yesterday at posts claiming that hospitals were empty, branding them “a lie”.
He added: “If you sneak into a hospital in an empty corridor at nine o’clock at night, film and then stick it up on social media saying, ‘This proves the hospitals are empty, the whole thing is a hoax’, you are responsible for potentially changing behaviour that will kill people. It is also an insult to the nurse coming home from 12 hours in critical care, having worked under the most demanding of circumstances.
“There is nothing more demoralising than having that nonsense spouted when it is obviously untrue.”
Boris Johnson also slammed Covid conspiracy theorists, saying: “On the kind of people who stand outside hospitals and say ‘Covid is a hoax’, I do think they need to grow up.”
More than half of all major hospital trusts in England have more coronavirus patients than at the peak of the first wave.
Official figures show 84 out of 139 acute NHS trusts were recording a higher number on January 5 than at any point between last March and May. More than 42 per cent of all inpatients in the capital are now being treated for the killer bug.
Some mums-to-be cannot give birth at home as there are no ambulances for emergencies.
Hospital bosses are asking care homes to help take in patients as the coronavirus surge continues.
NHS boss Sir Simon vented his anger yesterday at posts claiming that hospitals were empty, branding them ‘a lie’Credit: Alamy
More than half of all major hospital trusts in England have more coronavirus patients than at the peak of the first waveCredit: PA:Press Association
But many care homes are refusing to admit patients unless the Government pays for extra insurance.
Intensive care consultant Prof Rupert Pearse, based at The Royal London Hospital, said the scenes doctors faced in London were worse than during the first wave of Covid.
He added: “Unless we take the lockdown seriously, the impact on healthcare could be catastrophic.”
More than 42 per cent of all inpatients in the capital are now being treated for the killer bugCredit: PA:Press Association
GOT a story? RING The Sun on 0207 782 4104 or WHATSAPP on 07423720250 or EMAIL [email protected]