Plan B ‘Taking Age Off’ O’Micron but over 20 NHS trusts on highest alert


The prime minister insisted that Plan B restrictions were “helping to take the lead from the Omicron wave” as Downing Street said more than 20 NHS trusts were placed at the highest alert level.

Boris Johnson told lawmakers he was right to oppose the introduction of stricter COVID measures before Christmas, as cabinet agreed to impose existing home restrictions while easing travel testing rules.

But case rates continued to rise, along with hospitalizations, as staffing shortages plagued the NHS.

The prime minister’s official spokesman said on Wednesday afternoon that more than 20 trusts had now declared a significant event where priority services could be at risk, but stressed that it was “not a good indicator of healthcare pressure”. ” Was.

The number of people suffering from corona virus in the hospital is the highest since February last year.

And Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents health trusts, said hospitals were being hit by three issues at once – the increasing number of hospitalizations, staffing and non-Covid issues that existed before the pandemic. Were.

He said the NHS was “stretched like never before”.

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In England, around one in 15 people in private homes had Covid-19, according to an ONS (Office for National Statistics) estimate – with levels rising to one in 10 in London.

As of 9am on Wednesday, the UK had 194,747 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases, while 334 more deaths were recorded – although this figure included a backlog of hospital figures for England from 1 January.

Government data also showed that a total of 17,276 people were in hospital with Covid-19 in the UK as of 4 January, up 58 per cent week-on-week – though down from a peak of around 40,000 in January 2021.

The ONS said an estimated 3.7 million people in the UK had COVID-19 in the week ending 31 December, up from 2.3 million in the week to 23 December and the comparative figures were the highest since the start in autumn 2020.

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In the Commons, Mr Johnson said hospital admissions were “doubling every nine days” and “we are experiencing the sharpest increase in Covid cases ever known”.