The UK Has Reported A Record 1,325 Coronavirus Deaths – The Highest Death Toll Of The Pandemic
The United Kingdom recorded its highest daily death toll on Friday since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic as London declared a major incident, warning that its hospitals were at risk of being overwhelmed.
The coronavirus infection rate in London has exceeded 1,000 per 100,000 people, based on the latest figures from Public Health England.
However, the Office for National Statistics recently estimated as many as one in 30 Londoners has coronavirus.
Boris Johnson said in a statement. “Our hospitals are under more pressure than at any other time since the start of the pandemic, and infection rates across the entire country continue to soar at an alarming rate,”
“The NHS (National Health Service) is under severe strain and we must take action to protect it, both so our doctors and nurses can continue to save lives and so they can vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as we can.”
A further 68,053 COVID-19 cases were reported – also a new daily high – meaning almost three million people have now tested positive for the disease in the United Kingdom, which has a total population of around 67 million.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has declared a “major incident” in the capital due to rising coronavirus cases threatening to overwhelm hospitals.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said hospital beds in the capital would run out within the next few weeks because the spread of the virus was “out of control”.
Khan said there were parts of London where 1 in 20 people had the virus. 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.
London, which parallels with Paris for the status of Europe’s richest city, has a population of more than nine million.
Major incidents have previously been called for the Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017 and the terror attacks at Westminster Bridge and London Bridge.
A major incident is any emergency that requires the implementation of special arrangements by one or all of the emergency services, the NHS or the local authority.
It means the emergency services and hospitals cannot guarantee their normal level of response.
A further 1,325 people have died in the UK within 28 days of a positive Covid test – the biggest figure reported in a single day since the pandemic began.
It means there have been just short of 80,000 deaths by that measure – as another 68,053 new cases were recorded.
Public Health England (PHE) said the number of deaths would “continue to rise until we stop the spread”.
It comes as the government launches a new campaign in England urging people to “act like you’ve got” the virus.
The campaign, including an advert fronted by England’s chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, is intended to remind the public Covid is spreading fast, with large numbers showing no symptoms.
In the advert, Prof Whitty says: “Covid-19, especially the new variant, is spreading quickly across the country.
A message from @CMO_England Professor Chris Whitty on #coronavirus#COVID19 is spreading across the country, putting many at risk and placing pressure on the #NHS— Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk) January 8, 2021
As we roll out vaccines, it is vital that we all continue to stay at home to:
▶️ protect the NHS
▶️ save lives pic.twitter.com/uc22i59L0U
“This puts many people at risk of serious disease and is placing a lot of pressure on our NHS.
“Once more, we must all stay home. If it is essential to go out remember, wash your hands, cover your face indoors and keep your distance from others.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Our hospitals are under more pressure than at any other time since the start of the pandemic, and infection rates across the entire country continue to soar at an alarming rate.”
Hospital leaders have warned of stretched staffing with 31,624 coronavirus patients in UK hospitals on Wednesday – 46% above the peak during the first wave last year.
Dr Ian Higginson, vice president of Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said the situation in London and south-east England was “pretty dire” and would get worse in the rest of the country before long.
“We’re heading for some really dark times, I fear, in this phase of the pandemic,” he said.
Richard Mitchell, chief executive of Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust, said the increase in patients seen in London was now affecting his area in Nottinghamshire.
He said: “Critical care is exceptionally busy and the colleagues who work here are tired, they’re fatigued and they’re worn out.”
Meanwhile, a third Covid vaccine received emergency approval for use in the UK with 17 million doses of the jab, made by US firm Moderna, pre-ordered by the UK.
The vaccine joins the Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca jabs in being approved, with close to 1.5 million people now vaccinated in the UK.
Sources via BBC News