Over 13,000 NHS hospital beds now taken as a positive Corona virus infection covid Patients as a government minister say restrictions could be imposed if the backlog of the NHS is threatened by Covid.
The latest NHS figures show the number of beds occupied by Covid patients rose from 10,658 on Monday earlier.
Speaking during a debate in the House of Lords, Lord Kamal, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Innovation at the Department of Health and Social Care, said that if the situation “gets to the point where it affects the backlog, then we may have to take clear steps to be introduced”.
The latest official data shows that an estimated 2.7 million people in private households were sick with Covid-19 last week, an 18 percent increase from 2.3 million the previous week.
Lord Kamal’s comments came as health authorities in Europe recommended a second amplifier offered to people over 60 in response to a new “wave of mainstreaming”.
Last week The Independent have reported how staff absence rates are rising in NHS trusts amid a sharp rise in community infections. The number of infections has led the entire NHS region to reintroduce mask wearing in hospitals and GP practices.
This was revealed by senior NHS staff The Independent their hospitals came close to canceling scheduled surgeries last week because of the absence.
Meanwhile, according to reports in Journal of Health CareNHS chiefs may now also seek to relax targets to reduce the backlog of operations.
In an updated message on Monday, the European Center for Disease Control recommended considering second boosters for people aged 60 to 79 and those at high risk of severe disease.
Dr. Andrea Ammon, Director of the European Center for Disease Control, said: “We are currently seeing an increase in the number of notifications of Covid cases and a trend towards an increase in hospitalizations and intensive care units and their occupancy in several countries, mainly driven by the BA 5 subline Omicron.
“This signals the start of a new, widespread wave of Covid across the European Union. There are still too many people at risk of severe Covid and we need to protect them as soon as possible. We need to remind people about the importance of vaccination from the first shot to the second booster. We have to start today.”
Pharmaceutical giant Moderna also said on Monday that its new Omicron vaccine booster showed better antibody responses to the current BA.4 and BA.5 variants that cause the latest wave of Covid.
The report comes as the UK awaits a decision from the government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization on the autumn round of Covid revaccinations.
Professor Beate Kampmann, Professor of Pediatric Infection and Immunity and Director of the Vaccine Center at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “The Omicron variants BA.4 and 5 now cause the majority of Sars-CoV-2 infections in Europe. and the US, the development and approval of adapted versions of Covid vaccines for boosters is on the way. It was always thought that the first generation of these vaccines would require modification, but unfortunately, we are always one step behind the evolution of the virus. We ultimately need to get to a space where models can predict what’s going to happen next so we can stay ahead of the curve.
“Who needs a booster when it’s also a bit of a moving target, as we’re now dealing with a mix of community immunity and personal defenses induced by vaccines or natural infection, and most likely both.”