London (dpa) – After the London disaster was declared due to the high occupancy of the hospitals, experts in Great Britain expect the situation to deteriorate further.
The government’s chief medical advisor Chris Whitty warned in a guest article for the Times Sunday of a collapse in the health system. “If the virus continues like this, hospitals and soon will be in real trouble,” wrote the drug professor. That could be the case within a few weeks.
The waiting time for patients to receive treatment will add up to potentially dangerous levels, Whitty said. The relationship between hospital staff and patients is becoming unacceptable. The health services in some parts of the country are currently facing the most dangerous situation in living memory. “There will be deaths that could have been avoided.”
The ambulances are already in front of the emergency rooms. Patients would have to wait up to nine hours for a hospital bed, the director of the British Association of Paramedics (College of Paramedics), Tracy Nicholls, said Sky News.
Almost 60,000 new infections were reported in Great Britain on Saturday alone. The government and doctors, among others, are responsible for a new, probably even more contagious virus variant that is rampant in parts of the country. In addition, the rules for containing the pathogen are no longer followed as consistently. Whitty therefore urged people to stay at home. “Any unnecessary interaction they have could be the link in a chain of transmissions, at the end of which a person is at risk,” said the medical professional.
The total number of deaths known to be infected with the coronavirus in Britain was more than 80,000 on Saturday. In reality, there should be more. If you calculate the latest numbers along with the deaths linked to Covid-19 through death certificates, the number is 95,000.
The situation in London is particularly dire. Mayor Sadiq Khan caused the disaster there on Friday. The seven-day incidence is now more than 1000. That is the number of infections within a week per 100,000 inhabitants. The threat that the coronavirus poses to the city is at a critical point, Khan said in a statement. “If we don’t act immediately, our (health service) NHS could be overwhelmed and more people will die.”
The number of Covid-19 patients treated in the hospital was nearly a third in the first week of January in London alone, and the number of artificially ventilated patients increased by more than 40 percent, the mayor said. Firefighters and police officers used as ambulance drivers came to the rescue.
The government announced the third national lockdown last week. However, according to some experts, this will not be enough to reduce the number of infections.
Hopes are now pinned on the fact that broad sections of the population can be vaccinated as soon as possible. On Friday, the government in London approved the third preparation, the vaccine from the American manufacturer Moderna. The Biontech / Pfizer agent and the vaccine from Oxford University and the Astrazeneca Group are already in use.
According to the government, nearly two million people have already been vaccinated against Covid-19 in Britain. However, the pace of the vaccination campaign needs to be accelerated significantly. The aim is to offer the 15 million Britons who are particularly at risk a first vaccination by mid-February. The army was also called in to implement this. According to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, military strategies should also be used. He also urged people to stay at home.
Health Minister Matt Hancock saw the government on track to meet its vaccination target. According to the minister, 200,000 people are currently vaccinated every day. In addition, chains of infection must be broken through rapid mass testing in people without symptoms. Hancock has announced that two million antigen tests will be available starting next Friday.