Experts have warned hospitals that the current number of coronavirus cases is "mild" compared to the next few weeks.
The President of the Royal College of Physicians, Professor Andrew Goddard, said the number of 53,285 infections would rise.
He also noted that UK healthcare workers are "really concerned" about the fight against the virus over the next few months.
Most of the planned surgeries in London's hospitals have been suspended to allow medical professionals to cope with the rising numbers of Covid patients.
A staggering 29 out of 39 NHS hospital trusts have postponed elective surgery – barring cancer-related issues and emergencies – with areas like Kent on hold as well.
Neil Mortensen, president of the Royal College of Surgeons in England, said the problems facing health centers were "like a car accident in slow motion".
He told the Times: At the same time as people were returning to work, restaurants and shops, the new, more contagious variant was insidiously gaining ground in the south and east of England.
“The effects became apparent in hospitals from mid-December, and in many parts of the country planned operations for hip or knee replacements or operations on the ears, nose and ears had to be canceled.
"Thousands of people who have been waiting in pain or immobility for months will be very disappointed this Christmas that their surgery has been canceled or postponed."
One nurse also described the desperate situation in hospitals, where patients run out of oxygen and are left in ambulances and corridors.
Meanwhile, a junior A&E doctor was “broken” after being met by a crowd of maskless night owls singing “Covid is a Hoax” after his New Year's Eve shift in London.
In other Covid news:
- Pfizer and AstraZeneca rejected government warnings of month-long vaccine supply gaps, claiming there would be enough doses to meet the ambitious goals.
- Coronavirus vaccine manufacturers have beaten up the EU for being too slow to secure stocks of the sting as pressure mounts on France and Germany to speed up immunization.
- A teachers' union has called for all schools across the country to close at the beginning of the new semester.
- Health Secretary Matt Hancock thanked "everyone who plays their part" when he found more than a million people had been vaccinated.
- The UK announced yesterday that an additional 53,285 people had Covid-19, which means more than 50,000 positive tests had been carried out for four days in a row.
Medics transport a patient from an ambulance to the Royal London Hospital as coronavirus disease spreads in London today
It comes as a nurse sketched the desperate situation in hospitals where patients run out of oxygen and are left behind in ambulances and corridors. Pictured: The Royal London Hospital
Professor Goddard told BBC Breakfast: “There is no doubt that Christmas will have a big impact, the new variant will have a big impact too.
“We know this is more contagious and transferable. I think the big numbers we see in the South East, London and South Wales are now going to be reflected in the rest of the country for the next month, even two months later. & # 39;
He added, “This new variant is definitely more contagious and is spreading across the country.
"It is very likely that wherever people work in the UK we will see more and more cases and we need to be prepared for that."
London trusts that have ceased operations are among the largest in the UK.
These include the Barts Health Trust and Imperial College Trust, as well as Croydon Health Services, which have announced that they will end elective surgeries starting next week.
As a sign of the growing danger for the capital, the Nightingale Hospital in the Excel Center has been "reactivated" to accept patients.
However, the vice president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, Adrian Boyle, pointed out that the field hospital was "useless" if there were no staff to manage it.
He told LBC, "The thing about the nightingale hospitals and their limitations is that you need the staff to run them." With no workers, he added, "It's useless."
A nurse described the "unbearable" conditions in her hospital as the number of patients with the virus continues to rise.
The nurse, who works at Whittington Hospital in north London, said patients were left in corridors.
She said some also spend up to three hours in ambulances due to lack of beds, and one was without oxygen when the cylinder was empty.
The nurse, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “I am concerned about patient safety because if these little things happen now, when we are small and busy, it will only get worse.
"I don't know what else will happen – it worries me."
The number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals is at record levels in many regions of England – including London, the South West and the Midlands – with admissions rising above the level of the first wave.
And the staff of some hospitals have problems coping with it. The nurse said, “There are not enough nurses to care for patients, patient safety is compromised.
“Some are located in corridors and are looked after in temporary areas. Temporary wards have been set up for Covid patients, and space is running out in the intensive care units.
"Employee morale is low – we didn't even get over the first wave physically, emotionally, and mentally, and now we have to deal with this second wave."
The nurse described how she found a Covid patient with "multiple health conditions" who was left on an oxygen cylinder after leakage.
They said, “He thought he was getting oxygen, but the whole cylinder had gone out. Because of a lack of staff and because the nurses are tired, no one checked him.
"He was in a room with an oxygen connection on the wall, but he was left on a bottle and no one had gone back to check on him."
They said the nurses were overwhelmed with six beds being placed in bays that were typically four beds and patients would have to be checked in in other rooms that were being converted into makeshift wards.
They continued, “You have patients in cast rooms on hospital beds and patients being oxygenated in corridors waiting to be returned to their room.
"It was so, so briefly over Christmas and it's really worrying because patient safety is already compromised."
The nurse said that some patients received all of their treatment in the ambulance they arrived in because there was no room for them in the hospital.
"A paramedic told me on Boxing Day that there were over 500 calls waiting for him, but he was stuck in our emergency room with a patient in his ambulance for three hours," they said.
"It's such things that I wonder if if they keep happening it will hurt anyone."
They said the hospital was recently rerouted, which meant ambulances were ordered not to bring patients there because they were no longer able.
And while patients are being treated in ambulances outside of the hospital, the paramedics cannot do any other missions.
With a climax expected in the coming weeks after Christmas and New Years, the nurse urged the government to initiate a "complete lockdown".
They said the public may not be as strict about Covid restrictions as they were before and it was important that people stay home.
"I don't necessarily blame the public when this government's messages are so mixed," they said.
"But I just want them to hear us and what we say because it is really unbearable."
A Whittington Health spokesperson said, “While we are not commenting on anonymous claims, we take these allegations very seriously.
'Like the entire NHS, Whittington Health is currently under pressure as the number of Covid-positive patients soars.
"However, the safety of our patients remains our number one priority and our staff work tirelessly to ensure that we can continue to provide safe, effective, and compassionate care to those who need it."
Another nurse named Naomi, who works in a London hospital, said on Twitter, "I literally don't think my hospital has any more clean wards left."
She added, “Everyone, Covid. I'm a tired man, it's too emotionally exhausting. & # 39;
And Dave Carr, an intensive care nurse at St. Thomas' Hospital in London, added to the Guardian, “The public needs to know what is happening.
& # 39; This is worse than the first wave; We have more patients than in the first wave and these patients are just as sick as in the first wave.
"Of course we have additional treatments that we can apply now, but the patients are still dying and they will die."
Dave Carr, an intensive care nurse at St. Thomas' Hospital in London, said, “The public needs to know what is happening. & # 39; This is worse than the first wave; We have more patients than in the first wave and these patients are just as sick as in the first wave. & # 39;
Exhausted NHS staff will focus on introducing vaccines to contain the tsunami of hospital stays along the way.
Pfizer and AstraZeneca have announced that there will be enough doses to meet the country's ambitious goals.
Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty warned this week that vaccine availability issues "will persist for several months" as companies struggle to meet demand.
The government has promised to give single doses of the Pfizer vaccine to as many people as possible, rather than giving a second dose to those already vaccinated.
However, the makers of the Pfizer and Oxford / AstraZeneca jabs have concerns that there is no problem with the supply.
Sir Richard Sykes, who led a review of the government's vaccines task force in December, added that he was "unaware" of a supply shortage.
Another pressing issue for ministers is whether all elementary and secondary schools should remain closed in classrooms due to a Covid tsunami.
A teaching union called for all facilities across the country to close at the beginning of the new semester.
It came after the government flipped its decision to keep some London primaries open despite increasing cases of Covid.
Many of the London boroughs that have been told to keep elementary schools open are seeing increases in Covid cases
Ministers bowed to protests, legal pressure and scientific advice on New Year's Day after some districts of the capital were initially excluded from the forced closings.
Dr. Mary Bousted, joint secretary general of the National Education Union, said the U-turn was necessary but it was "confusing" by then.
She asked why the same restrictions are not being put in place across the country, saying the way the transferred powers have dealt with the mutated virus in schools has resulted in less chaos.
Dr. Bousted also criticized the government's "ruthlessness" in seeking the health of teachers and children, calling it "inexplicable".
Gavin Williamson this week published a list of London elementary schools in coronavirus hotspots that would be closed for two weeks after the start of the semester next week.
The list didn't include areas where Covid rates are high, like Haringey, whose leaders said they would oppose the government and support schools that decided to close.
It comes after a junior A&E doctor was "heartbroken" after being met with a large crowd of maskless night owls in London after his New Years Eve shift.
Dr. Matthew Lee was "disgusted" after a crowd gathered outside St. Thomas' Hospital – some sang, "Covid is a hoax" – where tireless doctors fought to save Boris Johnson's life after he died last year Covid had signed.
Dr. Hong Kong's Lee filmed the group after finishing his senior house officer (SHO) shift in the A&E department.
A junior A&E doctor was “broken” after being met by a crowd of maskless night owls singing “Covid is a Hoax” in London after his New Year's Eve shift
Dr. Hong Kong's Lee filmed the group (pictured) after finishing his senior house officer (SHO) shift in the A&E department
He claimed some of the people were conspiracy theorists of the Covid-19 when he asked why many Britons are still not realizing the severity of this pandemic.
The footage of the crowd came when an additional 53,285 people in the UK were diagnosed with Covid-19. There were more than 50,000 cases for four consecutive days.
Dr. Lee shared the clip on Twitter with the caption, “Worked the A&E SHO late shift on New Year's Eve and came up with it.
Hundreds of maskless, drunk people in large groups shout "Covid is a joke" literally outside the building where hundreds are sick and dying.
"Why are people still not realizing the gravity of this pandemic?"
He later added, “I am disgusted, but mostly heartbroken. I wish people could see the amount of Covid-19 (cases) and deaths in hospitals, and the sacrifices that healthcare workers make.
& # 39; This week alone was so tough. Your ignorance hurts others. I really wish people would protect themselves. & # 39;
His footage sparked outrage online, and countless Britons rushed to condemn Covid's conspiracy theorists.
Piers Morgan informed Dr. Lee's clip and wrote: “This is so gross. These idiots put Britain to shame. & # 39;
The crowd footage (pictured) was released when an additional 53,285 people in the UK were diagnosed with Covid-19. More than 50,000 positive tests were announced for four consecutive days
Dr. Lee shared the clip on Twitter with the caption, "Worked the A&E SHO late shift on New Years Eve and came out to it."
Mr Johnson spoke of self-isolation on April 3 – just days before he was taken to hospital with Covid (left). After he was released, he posted a video message from # 10 (right).
He later added, “I'm still bubbling over it. If it's a joke, we'll take all these fools to the Covid ward without PPE.
"See how brave they feel when faced with the reality of people suffocating."
Pediatrician Sarah Hallett wrote: "And ironically, as NHS staff, ironically, if any of them needed our help (maybe intubation and ventilation, for example) we would do it right away."
Another viewer added, "I would love to drag them around the hospital and go from ward to ward to show them the havoc Covid is causing.
“Maybe end the tour with a quick visit to the morgue. Absolute fools. & # 39;
His footage sparked outrage online, and countless Britons rushed to condemn Covid's conspiracy theorists
The daily case count in the UK is up 63 percent in one week, up from 32,275 last Friday, meaning 253,720 people have received positive test results since Monday.
And 613 more people have died from the virus – including an eight-year-old child – and the official death toll is 74,125.
The eight-year-old died in England on December 30 and had other health problems, the NHS said.
Health ministry records show 23,823 people were hospitalized with the virus as of December 28, the latest update.
The death toll was unpredictable this week after a string of public holidays that hospitals don't keep recording them as reliably.
Death certificates were lower than usual over the long Christmas weekend, falling to 230 deaths on Boxing Day, then higher than expected by midweek and rising to 981 on Wednesday December 30th. The weekly average is 554 deaths per day.
Coronavirus infections have spiked over the Christmas holidays, with the toughest lockdown measures for most of the country suspended until Boxing Day or even later, allowing thousands of families to mingle on December 25.
The cases are being driven by the new superinfectious variant of the coronavirus that emerged in the southeast and has since spread across the country.
And with London, Kent and Essex now at the epicenter of England's second wave – two-thirds of yesterday's cases (33,573) came from these three regions alone – the pressure on hospitals in the area is mounting, and some are saying they are are already in "disaster mode". even dealing with admissions from a week or two ago when the cases were lower.
London has once again become the center of the English crisis. 15,089 of the cases confirmed yesterday have been diagnosed in the capital, and local hospitals report that their wards are bursting at the seams.
Second worst hit was the southeast, where a further 10,844 cases were confirmed yesterday, followed by the east of England with 7,640.
It was in these regions that the new variant emerged, which is possibly 56 percent more contagious and spreads so quickly that normal blocking measures do not work, and in which it now accounts for the majority of infections.
In the other regions, where the new variant does not seem to have gained a foothold, the infections are significantly lower, possibly because they were already blocked at the time they developed.
Medics transported a patient on a stretcher from an ambulance to the Royal London Hospital yesterday
Medics are picking up a patient from an ambulance at Royal London Hospital this morning, January 1st
For the Northwest, 5,164 cases were announced yesterday, including 3,079 in the East Midlands, 2,860 in the West Midlands, 2,175 in Yorkshire and Humber, 2,104 in the Southwest and 1,340 in the Northeast.
So far, there is no evidence that the UK's second wave is slowing or likely to end anytime soon.
Although the number of infections and hospital admissions fell during the November national lockdown, they rose again when the restrictions were lifted.
The animal system appears to have worked in the north of England, which was the focus of the outbreak in the fall, but it came too late in the southeast, east and London, where cases got out of hand over Christmas.
Widespread rules were only introduced this week. As of Wednesday, December 30, a total of 44 million people had been made Tier 4 and the rest of the country except the remote Isles of Scilly Tier 3.
It will now take two or three weeks for these measures to take effect and, if they work, reduce the transmission of the virus.
But even if the lockdown rules work and reduce infection rates, hospitals will still have to deal with the consequences of people who have already caught Covid-19. It may take two to three weeks for you to be hospitalized.
A doctor in London has warned that coronavirus patients in NHS intensive care units are already “competing” for ventilators to keep them alive.
Dr. Megan Smith of Guy & # 39; s and St Thomas & # 39; Hospital Trust in the capital said medical professionals are faced with "dire" decisions as they have to decide which patients will have access to life-saving treatment for Covid-19 and which Not.
And she warned that an expected surge in patients triggered by people mingling with family and friends over Christmas has not even begun. The situation is likely to worsen later this month and in February.
Official NHS figures show intensive care units across the country are facing more problems this winter, despite an average of 743 extra beds being made available per day to cope with Covid patients.
Data from NHS England shows 743 critical care beds were available in the last week of December than the same week of 2019 – 4,394 versus 3,651.
In the same week, an average of 828 patients were in intensive care – 3,340 up from 2,512 in December 2019 – suggesting that the Covid-19 strain is larger than the hospitals prepared. Many of the rollaway beds are in London – 253 of them – but even that wasn't enough to stave off the surge in coronavirus patients.
The mutated superinfectious strain of coronavirus spread rapidly among children during the November lockdown and only closing schools can contain it, warns a new Imperial report
The mutated superinfectious strain of coronavirus spread quickly among children during the November lockdown and only closing schools can hold it back, a new report from Imperial College London warned.
The study confirmed that the new mutated variant of SARS-CoV-2 – known as B117 or "Variant of Concern" (VOC) – is indeed more contagious than previous variants, scientists feared, and that the November lockdown did little to suppress the problem it.
Pictured: a graph in the Imperial College London report showing the prevalence of the new coronavirus strain (shown in orange) in different age groups
The variant was most prevalent in the 10-19 age group, the data shows, with the finding that more coronavirus cases in the age group are the new strain than the original.
To combat the spread of VOCs in the UK, "social distancing measures need to be stricter than usual," the report said.
"A particular concern is whether it will be possible to maintain control of the transfer while allowing schools to reopen in January 2021."
Analysis of the data by researchers at Imperial College London found that the new strain may be nearly 50 percent more transmissible based on samples from nearly 86,000 Britons.
In the study published online, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, researchers from Imperial College found that the R-number for the new B117 variant is between 0.4 and 0.7 points higher than for other variants.
The study compared samples of the mutated virus from nearly 2,000 people in the UK with an additional 84,000 from people with other variants
The & # 39; R & # 39; number of a virus describes the average number of additional cases that each infection leads to.
In the UK, the final R number is between 1.1 and 1.3, government figures show. This means that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 11 and 13 other people.
Diagrams from the new study show how the new variant became increasingly common (points higher on each diagram) and more transferable over the course of eight weeks in the UK (points further to the right in each diagram show increasing R-numbers or transfer rates)
In a series of graphs, the report outlined case trends in a subset of the areas of the NHS England Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) – (a geographical breakdown of NHS regions).
The graphs show that while the November lockdown helped bring down rates of the original strain of coronavirus, it did little to suppress the spread of the mutant strain in England.
This is shown by the graphs with three lines showing case numbers.
The thick line shows the total number of cases in each region that were found among the people included in the study. The green line shows the original strain of Covid-19 (S +), while the yellow line shows the new variant (VOC).
The thick line at the top of the graph showing the total number of cases in each area changes color between green and yellow based on the number of tests showing cases of VOC among those included in the study.
Pictured: screenshots from the Imperial College report showing case trends of the new strain of coronavirus, with the% S rate indicating a case of the new variant. During the lockdown, Kent and Medway showed increasing numbers of the new Covid-19 strain. Mid and South Essex saw similar increases in cases in the weeks before and after the lockdown ended. Cases of VOC overtaking of the original strain have been observed in both regions
The dates of the second lockdown in November are marked by the vertical red lines between which the spread of Covid-19 and the VOC is shown.
Areas in south east England – including London – are showing rapid increases in the mutant strain of Covid-19 while the original strain was kept at relatively low levels during lockdown – showing the prevalence of the new strain in these areas.
These include Kent and Medway, Mid and South Essex; South West London Health and Care Partnership; and Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and West Berkshire.
In areas outside of the regions most affected by the VOC, the total number of cases has been shown to have decreased during the lockdown.
These include Birmingham and Solihull; Devonian; Herefordshire and Worcestershire; Cheshire and Merseyside; and Humber, Coast and Vale.
Cases of VOC in the South West London Health & Care Partnership have also risen in the last few weeks of the lockdown and have continued since then. The number of cases of the new strain took over that of the original. Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West also saw rising case numbers in the last week of the lockdown, with numbers for the new strain rising
In both Bingmingam, Solihull and Devon, the number of cases of the first strain of Covid-19 fell during the lockdown, while VOC cases remained low until the final weeks of 2020
In Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and Cheshire and Merseyside, the total number of cases fell during the lockdown, without the increase in new cases in the VOC
In the Humber, Coast and Vale, cases of the original Covid-19 strain also fell during the lockdown, avoiding the surge in new cases of VOCs. Right: A graph showing the ratio of age proportion between S- cases / age proportion between S + cases
The new variant was first discovered in the UK in September, according to the study. However, it exploded at the beginning of December and led to an increase in infections among the British.
The spread of the new, novel SARS-CoV-2 variant or Variant of Concern 202012/01 (VOC) in England takes place despite a tiered system to bring the spread of the virus under control.
What is the "mutated COVID strain" and why are experts affected?
Coronaviruses mutate regularly and acquire about a new mutation in their genome every two weeks.
Most mutations do not significantly change the way the virus works.
This super strain, named B.1.1.7, was first identified in the UK in November.
It has since been found in France, Spain, Italy, Iceland, Japan, Singapore, Australia, and now the United States.
The new COVID-19 variant has a mutation in the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein at position 501, where the amino acid asparagine (N) has been replaced by tyrosine (Y).
It's more contagious than previous strains and potentially more harmful to children.
However, it is not believed to be any more deadly.
Public Health England researchers compared 1,769 people infected with the new variant with 1,769 people who had one of the earlier strains of the virus.
42 people in the group were hospitalized, 16 of whom had the new variant and 26 had the wild type.
Twelve of the variant cases and ten of the "older" virus cases died within four weeks of testing.
Neither the hospital stay nor the mortality differences were statistically significant.
The majority of England are under "Tier 4", the strictest level, but despite the measures taken, they still have record numbers of daily Covid-19 infections.
Researchers at Imperial College London sequenced the genomes of 1,904 people infected with the new variant and compared how quickly the virus spread to a wider sample of other samples from more than 48,000 people in England.
As expected, they found that the new virus actually had a "selective advantage over circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants in England," they wrote in the print published online on Thursday.
The variant was also disproportionately widespread in people aged 20 and over in south-east and east England and in London.
The results of the new study mean that each person who catches this mutant virus will pass it on to up to 0.7 other people on average.
So far, there is no evidence that the new variant causes a more serious illness or is more fatal.
Fortunately, virologists and public health experts believe that vaccines from companies like AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and Moderna will continue to be effective against the new variant of the coronavirus.
But the new variant exacerbates the race between the spread of the virus and vaccination campaigns in the UK, the US – where the new variant has now been found in Colorado, California and Florida – and at least 31 other countries where the more infectious form of coronavirus has been detected .
With an average of more than 186,000 new infections in a single day in the US, the 48 percent higher transmission rate of 1.85 new infections per day could cause over 275,000.
It could spell disaster for hospitals in hotspots like California, where some health systems and regions are already out of intensive care beds, in states with "internal disaster" and rationed care.
In the UK, there are similar fears about the National Health Service (NHS) and its ability to cope with the number of coronavirus patients expected if the new variant of the disease continues to spread.
Deepti Gurdasani, lecturer in epidemiology and statistical genetics at Queen Mary University in London, shares data from a separate study from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). warned that "B117 is either dominant or very close to dominance in most regions" in England.
Within six weeks, the researchers saw the transmission rate (R) of the new coronavirus variant become higher (orange) than other variants, particularly in south-east England, east England and London
For comparison: In the USA, every infected person leads to an average of 1.15 further infections according to daily calculations by RT.live.
By this measure of portability, the R-number in the US ranges from about 0.86 in Alaska to 1.23 in Maine, which turned out to be a hotspot this week.
According to a Bloomberg News tally, only 3.17 million Americans had been vaccinated as of Friday.
The CDC's balance sheet lowers the number even further. The agency's website states that the vaccination tracker will be updated every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. However, at the time of publication, Wednesday's numbers showed 2.79 million people vaccinated.
Bloomberg's higher estimate means Operation Warp Speed vaccinated only 16 percent of the 20 million Americans promised to be vaccinated by the end of the year.
At this rate, it would take nearly a decade to vaccinate all adult members of the American population of 331 million people.
And many Americans stay on the fence to get a vaccine even if one is available. Around 60 percent of Ohio nursing home workers said they would turn down a shot.
Sluggish, dysfunctional vaccine distribution and Americans' distrust of the gunshots could collectively provide the B117 variant with just the opening it needs to spread like wildfire across the country, infecting millions beyond the 20 million people who already have it in the US were infected, killing thousands.
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