Home Business News NHS set up hospital Nightingale ‘surge hubs’ across England as New Year’s Eve gatherings is ‘perfect’ for spreading Covid

NHS set up hospital Nightingale ‘surge hubs’ across England as New Year’s Eve gatherings is ‘perfect’ for spreading Covid

30th Dec 21 11:48 am

The government are under immense pressure to up the capacity of testing as infections are in their tens of thousands every day.

On Wednesday the UK recorded a record 138,287 Covid infections in a single day in England and across the whole of the UK the government said there was a total of 183,037 lab confirmed cases.

The NHS is setting up new Nightingale “surge hubs” at hospitals across England as they are on a “war footing” and are preparing for a potential wave of record high Omicron admissions.

NHS England said that work on a total of eight hubs which all have a capacity of around 100 patients is to start this week and further sites have been identified which will provide a further 4,000 “super surge” beds.

Hospital admissions are up by 48% which is the highest number since 1 March, as there is a total of 10,462 people in hospital with Covid as of 8am on 29 December, NHS England confirmed

NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said, “Given the high level of Covid-19 infections and increasing hospital admissions, the NHS is now on a war footing.”

Professor Peter Openshaw of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), warned that the conditions for New Year’s Eve gatherings are the “perfect” setting for spreading Covid.

He raised concerns over the huge number of people and revellers who are unable to get tested before they attend gatherings on New Year’s Eve.

He told the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, “I think it’s very worrying indeed.

“We know the situations in which transmission happens and fortunately I don’t think we are facing the sort of lockdown that was necessary in order to cope in the very earliest part of this year.

“But we do know that crowding together in poorly ventilated spaces, particularly if you are shouting over loud music and so on, is absolutely perfect in terms of transmitting this very, very highly transmissible virus.

“Many of us feel very, very sorry indeed that so many cases are arising but I think it was predictable that we would see this sort of rise given the intense infectivity of the Omicron variant.

“We could look at the numbers and we could see that unless some very unexpected miracle were to happen we were going to see numbers of this sort.”

He added, “The hospitalisations have now hit about 10,000 and about 70% of those are directly due to Covid.

“The daily admissions are increasing, the hospitalisations have roughly doubled in the last 10 days.

“There’s always quite a lag in these figures and of course it’s much too early to know what that’s going to translate to in terms of people who will very sadly die.

“But I think it is inevitable that over time this will show up as the patients present and go through the course of their disease.”

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