'We need you to stay at home' - Northwick Park Hospital
- Credit: PA/Victoria Jones
The NHS trust which manages Northwick Park Hospital says coronavirus cases are up to the same level as they were during their peak last year.
During the first wave of Covid, Brent was one of the worst hit areas in the country.
According to NHS England figures, as at January 3 London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust - which runs Northwick Park Hospital, Central Middlesex Hospital, St Marks Hospital and Ealing Hospital - had 67 critical care beds, all of them occupied.
A spokesperson for London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust said on Saturday (January 9): “In our community, we are now treating the same volume of patients we saw during the peak of the first wave of the pandemic, while across London 800 more patients per day are going into hospital with Covid-19.
“The effect of the current lockdown will take time to be felt in our hospitals, so with daily admissions continuing to increase, we need everyone to follow the guidelines and stay at home.”
In the week up to January 4, Brent had 3,629 new confirmed cases of the virus, up from 2,518 the week before.
Nationally, the number of deaths following a positive Covid test has passed 80,000.
The government has doubled down on its “stay at home” message by launching a new advert, fronted by England’s chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, urging everyone in England to “act like you’ve got” coronavirus.
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson added: “I know the last year has taken its toll – but your compliance is now more vital than ever.”
London mayor Sadiq Khan has declared a “major incident” in the capital as the spread threatens to “overwhelm” hospitals.
A “major incident” means the “severity of the consequences” associated with it are “likely to constrain or complicate the ability of responders to resource and manage the incident”.
Mr Khan has written to the Mr Johnson asking for more financial support for Londoners who need to self-isolate and unable to work, and for daily vaccination data.
He is also asking for the closure of places of worship and for face masks to be worn routinely outside of the home, including in crowded places and supermarket queues.
Mr Khan said: “The situation in London is now critical with the spread of the virus out of control.
“The number of cases in London has increased rapidly with more than a third more patients being treated in our hospitals now compared to the peak of the pandemic last April.
“Our heroic doctors, nurses and NHS staff are doing an amazing job, but with cases rising so rapidly, our hospitals are at risk of being overwhelmed. The stark reality is that we will run out of beds for patients in the next couple of weeks unless the spread of the virus slows down drastically.
“We are declaring a major incident because the threat this virus poses to our city is at crisis point. If we do not take immediate action now, our NHS could be overwhelmed and more people will die.
“Londoners continue to make huge sacrifices and I am today imploring them to please stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary for you to leave. Stay at home to protect yourself, your family, friends and other Londoners and to protect our NHS.”
- For NHS coronavirus guidance, visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
- For information from Brent Council, visit https://www.brent.gov.uk/your-community/coronavirus/