There are more coronavirus patients in hospitals now than when the UK went into lockdown in March. Hospital admissions are rising rapidly in northern England, particularly in the north west, where the rate could outstrip the first wave, NHS England national medical director Stephen Powis said today. Professor Powis made the startling announcement during a Downing Street briefing on the second wave currently sweeping across the UK. He said: ‘As the infection rate has begun to grow across the country, hospital infections have started to rise.
‘It is clear that hospital admissions are rising fastest in those areas of the country where infection rates are highest, particularly the north west. ‘In the over-65s – particularly the over-85s – we are seeing steep rises in the numbers of people being admitted to hospital so the claim that the elderly can somehow be fenced off from risk is wishful thinking.’ Prof Powis said personal measures like washing your hands, wearing masks and keeping an appropriate distance has helped as the first line of defence, as well as measures like the rule of six. Test and trace have also helped as a second line of defence, he said, but we are now having to rely on hospital care.
Hospitals on the coronavirus frontline in the north of England are almost at breaking point as doctors battle the second wave sweeping through the UK. A glimpse inside intensive care units (ICU) in the north-west shows they are running out of beds, just as Boris Johnson warned the number of cases in the UK has quadrupled in the last three weeks, with infections rising by another 13,972 yesterday. The huge task facing the NHS was revealed by health chiefs yesterday who confirmed there are more coronavirus patients in hospitals now (3,665) than when the UK went into lockdown in March. Critical care consultant Dr Jason Cupitt looks after eight patients in intensive care at Blackpool’s Victoria Hospital.