UK scrambles for hospital beds as virus surges | Daily News

UK scrambles for hospital beds as virus surges

A COVID-19 patient been taken in to an ambulance at the Royal London Hospital Eemergency Department.
A COVID-19 patient been taken in to an ambulance at the Royal London Hospital Eemergency Department.

UK: Hospital chiefs in England raced to secure hospital beds on Thursday as the surge in coronavirus cases risked overwhelming the system, healthcare providers and medics said.

A leaked briefing suggested that even in a relatively positive scenario, London’s hospitals could be beyond capacity in less than two weeks.

The UK on Thursday recorded another 1,162 deaths within 28 days of a positive test -- the second highest toll since the peak of the first wave in April last year.

There were more than 52,000 new cases in 24 hours, taking the overall number of infections to nearly 2.9 million.

Cases are growing quickly outside southeast England, where clusters of a new highly infectious strain of the virus were first identified.

Over 30,000 people were in UK hospitals with the virus, more than at the peak of the first wave, heaping pressures on healthcare staff.

“Staff are exhausted,” said Lindsey Izard, matron of the general intensive care unit at St George’s Hospital in London.

“We’ve seen 5,000 new patients in hospital beds with COVID-19 over the past week -- that’s 10 full hospitals’ worth of COVID patients... so it’s a really big challenge,” Chris Hopson told BBC radio.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock called the deployment of the drugs a “landmark development”, saying the treatments, normally used for rheumatoid arthritis, would save hundreds of lives.- AFP