The UK’s chief medical officers have warned of a ‘material risk of the NHS being overwhelmed’ in the next 21 days as the mutant Covid strain wreaks havoc across the country. Parts of the health service are under ‘immense pressure’, the chief medical officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland said in a joint statement on Monday. Their letter saw Britain’s Covid alert level raised to five – its highest – for the first time since the pandemic began, meaning ‘transmission is high or rising exponentially’ and ‘there is a material risk of healthcare services being overwhelmed’. Boris Johnson warned that hospitals are 40 per cent busier than the first peak of the virus in April 2020 – as doctors liken working for in the NHS to being in a warzone. Analysis has suggested that the UK could be facing 100,000 fatalities as early as February – while the number of people in hospital beds in London and the east have soared by 68 per cent since December 25. The British Medical Association (BMA) welcomed the lockdown announced on Monday evening as it warned that hospitals are ‘stretched to breaking point’. In his address to the nation, Mr Johnson said: ‘Our… Read full this story
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