|As London Ambulance Service reports ‘one of busiest days ever – COVID hospital admissions near first wave peak|
More than 70,000 people have now died in the UK within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.
The pace of the first peak is approaching hospital admissions, with one emergency service claiming that Boxing Day was one of its busiest days ever. On 22 December, there were 21,286 individuals in a coronavirus hospital in the UK, the last day for which government statistics are valid.
The London Ambulance Service said that one of its “busiest ever days” was Boxing Day, with 7,918 calls – up by more than 2,500 compared to the same day in 2019. The numbers were so high that the service was pushed to the South to get support from other services.
“LAS said: “Like NHS organizations around the nation, over the past weeks, demand for our services has increased dramatically and we are now taking up to 8,000 999 calls a day compared to 5,500 on a normal “busy” day.
Our emergency department colleagues are also under pressure to accept our patients as soon as they can. “We are working urgently with NHS partners to reduce any delays.”
Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, told the getviewupdates: “We’re seeing a real rise in the pressure for hospital services, but also other types of NHS services as well… ambulance trusts in particular are coming under extreme pressure, as are community and mental health services.”
Regarding London and the South, Ms Cordery added: “Part of the issue is many more people coming through the door with COVID, but also people coming through the door with other conditions as well.”
There are also signs of stress in Wales, as a surgeon there warned that life-saving care for non-COVID patients was under threat if critical care units continued to fill up. Shakir Mustafa, a consultant surgeon at the Cwm Taf Univeristy Health Board, told Sky News critical care units across South Wales were reaching capacity.
“If it’s filled with COVID patients, it does not mean that we’re just dealing with COVID and not dealing with anything else,” he warned. “It does mean that we are unable to physically have someone who’s had a bleed after giving birth, for instance – or had a burst appendix, or somebody suffering from sepsis.
“We’d like to look after all our patients and we’re at a situation where this is under threat.” On Sunday, the government said that within 28 days of testing positive for COVID-19, a further 316 people died, taking the UK number to 70,752. On Sunday, the government said a further 316 people died. There were a further 30,051 laboratory-confirmed coronavirus cases as of 9am on Sunday.
However, between 24 and 28 December, Scotland does not publish death figures and Northern Ireland does not publish case and death figures during the same time. It comes when more than 24 million persons – or 43 percent of the population – have the highest degree of restrictions in England.
There are also Level 4 restrictions in Scotland, a stay-at-home order is in place across Wales, and a six-week lockout in Northern Ireland.