THE number of frontline doctors, nurses and healthcare staff catching coronavirus has reached crisis levels, senior NHS staff have warned.
More than 46,000 hospital staff are off sick with Covid-19, heaping pressure on an “already overstretched force struggling to manage” one expert has said.
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Thousands of doctors and nurses contracting Covid is stretching the NHSCredit: AFP – Getty
Dr Chaand Nagpaul, chair of the British Medical Association, warned members that thousands of staff are currently off sick due to Covid-19, or because they are self-isolating due to a member of their family testing positive.
This is thought to be one of the main reasons behind the slow rollout of the vaccines, as the Government aims to give 15 million high priority people the jab by mid-February.
Professor Chris Whitty has warned that everyone who meets friends and family unnecessarily is a “link in a chain” that threatens the lives of vulnerable people.
The NHS risked being overwhelmed within a fortnight, he said, and in some areas was facing the “most dangerous situation” anyone could remember.
He said patients would then face “unsafe” waits for treatment.
“Hospitals won’t have room to take redirected emergency cases … staff-to-patient ratios, which are already stretched, will become unacceptable even in places like intensive care. There will be avoidable deaths.”
Whitty spoke as Professor Neil Ferguson, the architect of the first lockdown, said the number of patients in hospital with Covid would soar by another 20%.
“It will be quite difficult to avoid another 20,000 deaths,” he said as a further 1,035 reported yesterday took the total above 80,000.
It is important doctors and nurses receive the Covid vaccineCredit: PA:Press Association
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