The British government reported on Monday 41,385 new cases of coronavirus detected in the last 24 hours, an all-time high since the start of the pandemic. This increase in infections coincides with a significant increase in testing and some experts believe it is related to the high speed of infection of the new variant discovered in the United Kingdom.
The bulletin also includes 357 deaths, bringing the UK’s total to 2,329,730 confirmed cases and 71,109 deaths of people who tested positive for coronavirus in the 28 days before their deaths. In total, 79,349 deaths are mentioned in the COVID-19 on the death certificate.
“It is a very high level of infection, very worrying at a time when our hospitals are at their most vulnerable, with incomes rising in many regions,” said the medical director of Public Health of England, Yvonne Doyle, in statements collected by the British network Sky News.
“Despite these unprecedented levels of contagion there is hope on the horizon. We can tackle this virus by working together until the vaccine reaches the most vulnerable and many more people in a matter of weeks and months,” she added.
In any case, the actual figure for these days will be higher than the official one, since Scotland does not give data of contagion between December 25 and 28. Northern Ireland does not provide data on deaths in the same period.
High occupancy rate in hospitals
Hospitals in Wales, Scotland and southern England have warned of an increase in occupancy due to the rise in COVID patients. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, London, has reported the “high number of positive COVID patients” since Sunday.
“All our patients are getting the care they need, including intensive care for COVID-19 and oxygen therapy. We continue to monitor the situation to ensure that it remains so,” said a National Health System spokesperson.
Thus, the statistics reveal more than 20,000 patients hospitalized by COVID-19, above the data for the entire first wave, in the spring, with the aggravating factor that interventions and treatments suspended in that first wave are not postponed now.
In addition, many of the COVID-19 patients are still alive thanks to recently applied medicines and therapies and would not have survived the first wave, which also explains the high level of hospital occupancy.
According to the BBC, the London Ambulance Service received 7,918 emergency calls on December 26, the same number as in the first wave, and an ambulance had to wait an average of six hours to discharge a patient.