NHS England has announced that coronavirus “surge hubs” are to be set up at hospitals across the country as the NHS goes on a “war footing” in preparation for a potential wave of Omicron admissions.
Eight temporary “Nightingale” units will each house about 100 patients, with building starting this week.
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More sites have also been identified that could add another 4,000 “super surge” beds, and that includes premises such as gyms and education centres.
RT reports: The plan to cope with an increase in hospital admissions comes after the UK logged a record 183,037 new daily Covid infections on Wednesday. Hospitalizations in England due to Covid have risen above 10,000 for the first time since March.
“Given the high level of Covid-19 infections and increasing hospital admissions, the NHS is now on a war footing,” NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said.
“Given the number of infections we cannot wait to find out before we act and so work is beginning from today to ensure these facilities are in place.“
Concern about the ability of the NHS to cope with hospital admissions follows a warning from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) that the nation could run out of lateral flow and PCR tests. Due to “exceptionally high demand,” people reported being unable to book Covid tests across multiple regions on Wednesday.
The lack of testing has increased fears about the risk of New Year’s Eve celebrations going ahead, as an immunologist at Imperial College warned the situation has created “absolutely perfect” conditions for Covid to spread rapidly.
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