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Hospitals have not yet seen the full extent of patients who caught coronavirus over Christmas – Plymouth Live

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/hospitals-have-not-yet-seen-19592976

A public health director has warned that hospitals have still not seen the full extent of patients who caught coronavirus over Christmas.

Dr Justin Varney, director of public health at Birmingham City Council, told BBC Radio 4’s Today: “I think we’re very worried. What we’re seeing now is in the hospital today are the people going in who caught coronavirus about two to three weeks ago.

“So we still haven’t seen the impact in the NHS of the rapid rise that we saw around December 28-29 after the Christmas bubble and after we started to see the new variant arriving in the region.”

The former GP added: “It is going to get a lot, lot worse unless we really get this under control but some of that is already baked into the system and it is going to play out over the next week or two.”

The warning comes as the UK recorded its highest number of Covid-19 deaths reported on a single day since the pandemic began, while figures for cases and hospital admissions also hit record levels.

The Government said a further 1,325 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Friday – bringing the UK total to 79,833.

Meanwhile, there were a further 68,053 lab-confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, the highest figure reported in a single day since the start of mass testing last May, although it may have been higher in April 2020, with cases estimated to have been as high as 100,000 per day at the peak of the first wave.

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In a more positive development, a third Covid-19 vaccine, from US biotech firm Moderna, was given the green light by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – joining the vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca.

But the Government has doubled down on its “stay at home message” by launching a new advert, fronted by England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, urging everyone in England to “act like you’ve got” coronavirus.

Prof Whitty said: “Vaccines give clear hope for the future, but for now we must all stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson added: “I know the last year has taken its toll – but your compliance is now more vital than ever.”

The advertising campaign will run across TV, radio, newspapers and on social media and will feature images of patients in hospital.

Government death figures continue to be affected by a lag in the publication of recent data and will contain some deaths that took place over the Christmas and New Year period that have only just been reported.