Infection rates have been soaring across the UK with another 3,395 people diagnosed on Thursday. Hospital admissions due to COVID-19 have started to increase again and there are fears this will intensify, as hospitalisation numbers tend to lag behind case numbers by a couple of weeks.
According to the Daily Telegraph hospitals have been instructed to make room for extra patients ahead of an expected surge in coronavirus cases.
Isolation wards are being created for coronavirus patients to keep them separate from those with other conditions.
It is hoped this will prevent other treatments being disrupted to the extent they were during the spring lockdown.
Speaking to the paper an MP who was briefed on the plans said: “The rate of infection is going up, and I was told hospitals have reserved beds for people coming out of hospital who need somewhere to recover.
Hospitals have been told to prepare for a coronavirus spike in two weeks
Coronavirus testing facilities have been overwhelmed by demand
“At the start of lockdown they were having to send people back to care homes or back to other facilities, with dire consequences, so they’ve booked places in respite care or empty care homes.
“People will go out of hospital, but they won’t return to their normal place of living.
“They just need care before they go back home so that they empty the hospital wards.”
The number of Britons living with local lockdown restrictions will soon exceed ten million after new measures were imposed on much of the north east of England.
COVID-19 cases are increasing rapidly in the north of England
The west midlands and Liverpool are said to be at risk of similar measures.
On Thursday Baroness Harding admitted the NHS’s ‘Test and Trace’ system has been overwhelmed by demand.
She said as many as one million people have been applying per day for the 230,000 tests on offer.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph a former minister commented: “The effort is being made to step up capacity so that if there is a second spike the NHS doesn’t fall so far behind with other types of care.
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People queue for COVID-19 tests
Lockdown measures have been reimposed for the north-east of England
“Different parts of London are looking at different ways to handle that, but everyone has learnt that terrible lesson that you cannot discharge people into care homes if there is any danger whatsoever that they might be Covid positive, so there is a big effort to find extra beds.
“Brent rented an entire care home and they discharged their people into another care home.
“I think other places will be doing that as part of their efforts to get ready for a second spike.”
Authorities were sharply criticised in spring when hospitals sent thousands of patients back into the community ahead of an expected COVID-19 surge, without testing them for the disease.
Some of these patients were sent back to nursing homes helping spread coronavirus amongst vulnerable populations.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock is reportedly planning to introduce a “traffic light” system that will automatically see extra lockdown measures imposed locally once cases reach a certain level.
At the amber level this could include “mandatory masks” which would be required in more situations than is currently the case.
Britain has seen more coronavirus deaths than any other country in Europe
On Thursday another 21 people died from coronavirus across the UK.
Infection rates are increasing across much of the country and are especially bad in northern England.
Over the past week the infection rate in Liverpool surged to 107.8 cases per 100,000 people from 67.5.
Source:Daily Express :: UK Feed