On Sunday’s daily press conference at Downing Street, Matt Hancock the Health Secretary said three hospitals are close to running out of “oxygen.”
Hancock admitted the government needs “to make sure that each hospital has that available.”
He said, “We have had an equipment failure.
“The quantity and supply of oxygen is something we’ve been working very hard on.”
But, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, Dr Jenny Harries said at the briefing, there is “no insufficiency of oxygen” and this is good that red flags are being raised before the problems get more serious.
On Saturday Watford General Hospital declared a critical incident, they urged emergency patients to go to other hospitals with A&E units.
Watford hospital said the decision was taken as a “result of a technical issue with our hospital’s oxygen equipment.”
In a tweet West Hertfordshire Hospitals said, “Please DO NOT attend Watford General’s emergency department until further notice, even in an emergency.
“Go to your next nearest hospital with an emergency department. Anyone with non-urgent issues should seek advice via 111.nhs.uk”
When Hancock was asked about the possibility of further restrictions on exercise outside the home, he said, “We’re not planning any changes to those rules imminently.”
“What we are doing is being absolutely clear that the current rules must be followed.”
He added, “You are risking your own life and the lives of others, and you are making it hard for us all.”
Hancock also revealed that he “understands how difficult” coronavirus is for the country, and said, “I’ve lost two people I was fond of.”
Dr Harries added, it is important to balance “physical and mental health needs.”
“I think one of the issues… is around behaviours, as well. It’s not just the ‘what are you doing’, it’s the ‘how do you do it’,” she said.
Dr Harries, said there has been a “surge” in the number of new cases in the UK over the past 24 hours, but adds that the cases will need to be watched over time.
“As our testing capacity increases, inevitably we will find more cases,” she said.
On hospital admissions, she said that all hospitals have capacity to “manage these cases.”
“We’re hoping in due course… that those cases will start to fall.”
When asked when social distancing measures might end, Dr Harries said, “all things are possible.”
She said, that “clearly what we don’t yet know and I think this is critical… is how the disease on a whole population basis has affected our immunity.
“That is important if we can find that information because it will give us an understanding… if it was found that a large number of people are immune then different interventions could come off sooner or later.
“In areas with less cases prevalent then we need to be very mindful, if social interaction levels increase.”
She added, we “still need to get over that first hump.”
Police have given Scotland’s chief medical officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood a warning after she visited her second home in Fife.
Police Scotland said on Sunday that Dr Calderwood admitted that she had gone against her own advice.
Chief Constable lain Livingstone said, “Earlier today, local officers visited Dr Catherine Calderwood and spoke to her about her actions, reiterated crucial advice and issued a warning about her future conduct, all of which she accepted.
“Social distancing is the key intervention to curtail the spread of coronavirus and it is essential the instructions are followed to protect each other, support key workers, take strain from the NHS, and save lives.
“Individuals must not make personal exemptions bespoke to their own circumstances.”
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