Covid: No further restrictions required despite ‘rapidly’ surging cases, NHS chiefs say


The statement comes as Britain is battling with one of its worst forms of Covid-19 infection. On Thursday, the UK’s confirmed daily Covid cases hit yet another high with 189,213 reported in the past 24 hours, while the number of people in hospital and deaths have also risen, according to data shared by the Government.

The number of patients with the virus rose to 11,452 yesterday in England, the highest since February and up 61 percent in a week.

However, NHS chiefs believe that the UK has still not passed the threshold for new Covid-19 restrictions.

Chris Hopson, the head of NHS Providers, told The Times: “Trust chief executives are saying we should be careful interpreting the daily Covid hospital data.

“Although the numbers are going up and going up increasingly rapidly, the absence of large numbers of seriously ill older people is providing significant reassurance.

“But they are aware that this may change after the Christmas period.

“Trust CEOs know that the government has a high threshold to cross before it will introduce extra restrictions and can see why, in the absence of that surge of severely ill older people, that threshold hasn’t been crossed yet.”

The data further suggests that despite the new admissions in the hospitals, the number of coronavirus patients in the critical care units has remained relatively stable at 782.

The 11,452 patients in hospital with Covid-19 is significantly lower than the 34,336 at the height of the second wave in January.

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A further 332 deaths from the virus were reported yesterday, the highest figure since March, although it includes a backlog from over Christmas.

Mr Hopson said: “We’re consistently getting the message from trusts that the volume [of admissions] is rising but what’s different is that hospitals are not seeing large numbers of elderly people with severe respiratory problems needing extra oxygen support or critical care, which is what we saw in January.

“Some CEOs are saying that if the NHS was going to see a surge of seriously ill older people, they would have expected to see the beginning of that by now but they’re still not. But it’s still early to be sure it’s not going to come.”

Boris Johnson is expected to decide next week whether to implement limits on people mixing indoors.

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