Boris Johnson has issued a fresh plea for Londoners to stay at home amid record numbers of Covid patients being treated in hospital (Picture: EPA/Nick Edwards)
The prime minister has urged Londoners to stay at home as the number of people being treated for coronavirus in the capital’s hospitals reach a record high.
NHS England’s latest figures show there were 7,917 patients being treated in London hospitals yesterday morning – 2,716 more than there were at the peak of the virus in April.
The highest number of admissions recorded during the first wave was on April 9, last year, with 5,201 people being treated.
Yesterday, there were 1,220 people on ventilators, compared with the previous highest figure of 1,057 on April 10.
Following the alarming figures, Boris Johnson has issued a fresh plea urging Londoners to stick to the rules to stop the NHS becoming more overwhelmed.
The PM told the Evening Standard: ‘With Covid cases stubbornly high and an alarming number of people still in hospitals across London we need everyone to continue to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.’
‘I know how tough this is, but the stakes are too high this time,’ he added.
There were 7,917 patients in London hospitals yesterday morning (Picture: Gov.uk)
The Dean of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine warned hospital staff not only in London, but across England, are struggling to deal with the number of patients.
Dr Alison Pittard told the Standard: ‘Many hospitals and intensive care units around the country, including in London, are already overwhelmed, working beyond normal baseline numbers and diluting staffing ratios in order to care for the patients who would benefit from intensive care.’
NHS Chief Executive Sir Simon Stevens warned one coronavirus patient is admitted to hospital every 30 seconds in England, adding that the NHS is facing the most ‘unique’ situation in its history.
He told BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday: ‘The facts are very clear and I am not going to sugar-coat them. Hospitals are under extreme pressure and staff are under extreme pressure.
‘Since Christmas Day, we have seen another 15,000 increase in the in-patients in hospitals across England. That’s the equivalent of filling 30 hospitals full of coronavirus patients’.
Commuters on a Jubilee Line train at Canada Water Underground Station on Tuesday morning (Picture: Nick Edwards)
The UK now has the highest Covid death rate in the world, according to data by the University of Oxford
Fresh data from the University of Oxford showed the UK was found to have the highest Covid-19 death toll in the world.
According to research platform, Our World in Data, the UK had an average of 935 daily deaths over the past week – equating to around 16 people in every million dying with the virus.
This is the highest cumulative death toll in Europe, and is only behind the US, Brazil, India and Mexico on a global scale. However, the UK’s death rate is higher, as those countries have much larger populations.
Mr Johnson yesterday warned the UK is still in a ‘pretty precarious’ position but hoped lockdown restrictions could start gradually lifting from around early March – but it depends on how many people have been vaccinated by then.
He told reporters: ‘I understand completely that people want to get back to normal as fast as we possibly can. It does depend on things going well.
‘It depends on the vaccination programme going well, it depends on there being no new variants that throw our plans out and we have to mitigate against, and it depends on everybody, all of us, remembering that we’re not out of the woods yet.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].
For more stories like this, check our news page.