Covid deaths in the UK are up by 45 per cent this week, with NHS Confederation boss Matthew Taylor warning: “The brutal reality for staff and patients is that this Easter in the NHS is as bad as any winter”
Image: Marcin Nowak/LNP)
The UK’s Covid death toll has reached 170,000 with NHS leaders warning of a “brutal Easter”.
Covid deaths in Britain are up by 45 per cent this week, with 1,613 fatalities recorded over the last seven days.
Although infections are falling they still remain high, with 91,304 logged on Monday – down from 143,382 last Monday.
It comes as the NHS Confederation calls for new Covid measures to be introduced in Britain.
NHS bosses are demanding action amid staff shortages in accident and emergency units, with three per cent of workers off with coronavirus.
Meanwhile, ambulance services are also facing delays with at least one in four patients forced to wait half an hour or more outside A&E.
The recent spike in Covid cases meant a staggering 20,331 patients had coronavirus in hospitals across the UK last week – a 14-month high.
Dr Katherine Henderson, head of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said the huge pressure on the NHS means it is now breaking its “basic agreement” with the public to treat the sickest in a timely way.
The NHS Confederation, which acts as a representative for hospitals and ambulance trusts, called for ‘mitigating actions’ such as not meeting people indoors and wearing masks in crowded spaces.
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This would help prevent the spread of the virus, the health and wellbeing organization told The Times.
It also said the Government needs to introduce a ‘public information campaign’ in England to ask people to stay away from A&E unless they have an emergency.
NHS Confederation boss Matthew Taylor said: “The brutal reality for staff and patients is that this Easter in the NHS is as bad as any winter.”
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He added: “NHS leaders report a clear disconnect between the Government’s Living with Covid plan and the realities at the NHS front line.
“We have a Government that seems to want to wash its hands of responsibility for what is occurring in plain sight up and down the country.
“No 10 has seemingly abandoned any interest in Covid whatsoever.”
Last week Boris Johnson, speaking to GB News, admitted he ‘can’t rule out’ plunging the UK into a Covid lockdown again in the future, despite only just releasing the nation from two years of crippling on-off restrictions.
The Prime Minister previously promised the route back to normality was ‘irreversible’, seemingly consigning draconian stay-at-home orders to history.
But the PM has now said it would be ‘irresponsible’ for the Government not to keep a blanket shutdown in its virus-fighting playbook. I added: ‘I’m not going to take any options off the table.’
Mr Johnson added: “I want to avoid any such thing ever happening again.”