Number in hospital with Covid jumps 40% in month

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Southwark and Islington saw numbers rise by more than 75 per cent (PA Wire)
Southwark and Islington saw numbers rise by more than 75 per cent (PA Wire)

The number of Covid patients in London hospitals has jumped by about 40 per cent since late November as the Omicron variant surges in every borough, the Standard can reveal.

Inner London boroughs with some of the lowest vaccination rates continue to see the most rapid rises. Hackney saw a more than 80 per cent increase, with 2,162 new infections recorded in the week ending December 11.

Southwark and Islington saw numbers rise by more than 75 per cent when the UK reported a record 88,376 new infections yesterday.

Professor Kevin Fenton, London director of public health, urged people to avoid mixing with lots of others over Christmas to help slow down the spread.

He said: “We are seeing extraordinary numbers of Covid cases in London. This sheer volume means that even if Omicron is found to have reduced severity, it will still have a big impact on hospitalisations and deaths.”

Rising infections are putting more pressure on already strained hospitals and increasing numbers of NHS staff are having to isolate.

Hospital daily admissions in London rose to 199 on December 14. The latest figures show 1,460 Covid patients being in treated in total, compared to 994 on November 28. However, the majority are not in intensive care.

In the last two weeks Charing Cross hospital has issued two black alerts, its highest alert level, which indicates it is experiencing significant capacity pressures.

“Black alerts trigger actions that help us re-prioritise and create more capacity as quickly as possible,” a spokesman for Imperial College NHS Trust said.

Professor Fenton said vaccines were our “best line of defence against this wave”, adding: “We need Londoners to come forward for the booster... so we can bolster our protection and reduce the impact of this spread.”

Five London boroughs, Tower Hamlets, Newham, Hackney, Barking & Dagenham and Hammersmith & Fulham, make up the UK’s least booster jabbed areas, with less than 20 per cent of residents receiving a third vaccine.

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