London declares ‘major incident’ over rising coronavirus cases

Leaked documents show London risks running out of hospital beds

UK hospitals under pressure amid surge in cases

"One in 30 Londoners now has COVID-19".

Projections leaked to the Health Service Journal showed that even if the number of COVID-19 patients increased at the lowest rate considered likely, London hospitals would be short of almost 2 000 acute and intensive beds by January 19. On Thursday, government figures showed that another 1,162 people were reported to have died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan declared a "major incident, ? as the rapid spread of the virus pushed hospitals to breaking point, with the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients up 27% in the week to January 6".

The mayor warned that the city's hospitals risked not having enough beds in the coming weeks and urged the government to take several emergency measures, including providing additional funds for people who must self-isolate and ensuring that face masks are worn outside the home.

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The pressure on the ambulance service, which was now dealing with up to 9,000 emergency calls a day, meant firefighters were being drafted in to drive vehicles, and police officers would follow.

The sharp rise has forced hospital bosses to consider shifting some patients to beds in nursing homes or care homes, said Chris Hopson, head of NHS Providers. In a statement, he said: "Our heroic doctors, nurses and NHS staff are doing an unbelievable job, but with cases rising so rapidly, our hospitals are at risk of being overwhelmed".

"We are declaring a major incident because the threat this virus poses to our city is at crisis point", Sadiq Khan said.

Sadiq Khan's declaration comes a day after the Chief Executive of NHS England, Sir Simon Stevens, said that more than 800 patients a day are being admitted to London hospitals with COVID-19. This puts many people at risk of serious disease and is placing a lot of pressure on our NHS.

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"The entirety of the health service in London is mobilising to do everything it possibly can, but the infections, the rate of growth in admissions, that is what collectively the country has got to get under control", Stevens said.

6 in the city, Reuters reported, and there have been 477 reported deaths of patients with the novel coronavirus in the past three days.

Britain's total coronavirus-related death toll is now 78,508. According to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the U.K.is again Europe's worst-hit nation in terms of total COVID-related deaths.

Like other European nations, the United Kingdom has started the new year in lockdown as the coronavirus continues to rage and scientists battle to stem the spread of new, more contagious variants of the virus.

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