Bosses at the Essex hospital said that they are working to manage the situation.
Yvonne Blucher, Managing Director of Southend Hospital, told Mirror Online: “We are experiencing high demand for oxygen because of rising numbers of inpatients with Covid-19 and we are working to manage this.
“The public can play their part by staying home and, where they cannot, following the ‘hands, face, space’ advice to cut the spread of the virus.”
Less than two weeks ago local authorities in Essex declared a “major incident” as the number of Covid cases threatened to overwhelm health services in the county.
The announcement was made in response to a “significant growing demand” on hospitals across the county and enabled local leaders to seek further support from the Government, the Essex Resilience Forum (ERF) said.
The ERF – which is made up of members of the NHS, emergency services and local authorities – said the number of patients in Essex receiving treatment for coronavirus had increased to levels exceeding those seen at the peak of the first wave.
It added that such numbers were expected to increase further and that cases were particularly high in Mid and South Essex.
Areas of concern included critical care and bed capacity, staff sickness and the ability to discharge patients quickly into safe environments.
On December 31, it was reported that patients were being airlifted from ‘overwhelmed’ Southend Hospital to a hospital in Cambridge amid surging cases.
At the time, an NHS spokesperson for the East of England told Essex Live: “The NHS has tried and tested plans in place to manage significant pressure and this has always included mutual aid practices whereby hospitals work together to provide the very best care for patients.
“While we’re opening up more capacity in the East of England it remains vital that people continue to follow government guidance and do everything possible to reduce transmission of the virus.”
On Sunday the UK’s coronavirus hospital death toll increased by 573 – the highest number on a Sunday for seven months.
England reported 508 fatalities, Scotland had three, Wales recorded 45 and Northern Ireland had 17 to bring Britain’s hospital toll to 573.