Hospital staff absences due to Covid-19 They have nearly doubled in a month in England, which faces record pollutions, reinforcing pressure on the healthcare system as admissions rise.
According to figures released Friday by the National Health Service for England, NHS England, over 24,000 absences of personnel in isolation due to being infected by the coronavirus or being a case of contact were registered on December 26, against less than 12,000 at the end of November.
This understaffing occurs when the number of hospitalized patients with covid-19 continues to increase, with 1,900 revenues announced on Friday, 60% more than a week earlier.
In a statement, the medical director of the NHS, Stephen Powis, stressed that the magnitude of the wave that begins to affect hospital services is unknown.
The number of infections in the UK reached unprecedented levels, with 189,000 more cases announced on Friday and 203 deaths, bringing the total to 148,624 deaths.
According to the latest estimates from the National Statistical Office (ONS), based on a sample of the population, 2.3 million people were infected the week of December 23. This represents, in particular, 1 in 25 people in England and 1 in 15 in London.
These contaminations disrupt many sectors, such as transport and firefighters.
Unlike the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish authorities, the Boris Johnson government decided not to impose further restrictions before New Years in England.
He left bars and nightclubs open and contented himself with calling for prudence during the holidays, also accelerating the booster vaccination campaign.
Underlining that the current situation was “incomparably better than last year” thanks to vaccination, he once again encouraged the population to get vaccinated. A resolution “much easier to maintain than losing weight or keeping a diary,” the prime minister said with humor.
When it comes to treatments, the UK is strengthening its arsenal.
The first country to approve the oral anticovid treatment from the Merck laboratory in November gave the green light on Friday to the use of Pfizer’s antiviral drug Paxlovid, the drug agency announced.
This treatment, already approved in the European Union and in the United States, reduces the risk of hospitalization in people who test positive and are considered at risk and, therefore, relieve hospitals.
Although deaths and the number of patients on ventilators remain low, the increase in the number of hospitalizations is worrying and the NHS announced the creation of temporary structures that allow hundreds of beds to be opened to prepare for the “worst case scenario”.