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NHS boss stark coronavirus warning over the virus which leaves young people breathless and gasping for life – Manchester Evening News

https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/uk-news/nhs-boss-stark-coronavirus-warning-19612883

An NHS boss has painted a grim picture of the coronavirus situation in the capital as he warned about the disease that is capable of leaving even young people ‘breathless and gasping for life’.

Dr Vin Diwakar, NHS medical director in London, has said that patients may have to be sent elsewhere for other conditions as pressure on hospital beds from Covid-19 continues to increase.

Speaking at a Downing Street briefing on Tuesday night, he said: “As the pressure from Covid-19 has increased, this has put pressure on the number of beds we have for other conditions.

“That’s why yesterday we opened the Nightingale hospital and admitted our first patients. This time it’s taking patients who do not have Covid and this means that our hospitals have more beds to care for Covid patients themselves and for the very sickest patients.

“But we cannot do this indefinitely, it comes a point where if this infection gets further out of control more and more patients from London will need to be transferred elsewhere.”

Dr Diwakar said there is “hope” with one hall of the ExCel centre, where the Nightingale is being hosted, having opened as London’s first mass vaccination centre.

On visiting a hospital in east London, he said: “I can tell you Covid-19 is a horrible, horrible disease that leaves so many, including young people, breathless and gasping for life.”

One hall of the ExCel is operating as a mass vaccination centre
(Image: Getty Images)

At the start of November, London had 1,000 Covid-19 patients, he said.

This increased four-fold to 4,000 on Christmas Day and has doubled to just under 8,000 today, with more than 1,000 of those on critical care.

His comments come as the latest NHS England figures show that a total of 3,571 hospital admissions of people with Covid-19 in England were reported for January 10.

This is slightly below the record number of 3,967 admissions reported for January 6, but up 7 per cent on the equivalent figure a week ago on January 3.

During the first wave of the virus, admissions peaked at 3,099 on April 1 2020.

The number comprises all patients admitted in the previous 24 hours who were known to have Covid-19, plus any patients diagnosed in hospital with Covid-19 in the previous 24 hours.