England’s “very high” Covid infection level is a “growing concern” as the NHS struggles to cope with rising patient numbers, a health official has said.
On Monday, a record 41,385 Covid cases and 357 deaths were reported in the UK.
NHS England said the number of people being treated for the virus in hospital is now 20,426, which is higher than the previous peak of about 19,000 in April.
The figures come as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich declared an “internal incident” over its “high number of Covid-positive patients” had been ongoing since Sunday. The incident is thought to be related to the numbers of coronavirus patients needing more oxygen than the pipes and infrastructure are able to deliver to the wards.
More oxygen is currently being used because instead of being ventilated, many patients are being given special masks which use more oxygen than a ventilator. Routine patients also have their own oxygen needs.
“All our patients have received the treatment they need, including intensive care treatment for Covid-19 and oxygen therapy as required.
“We are continuing to monitor the situation to ensure that this remains the case,” a spokesperson for Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust said.
The 500-bed QEH called in extra staff on Sunday after the incident was declared at around 1pm.
The hospital continued to accept children and cardiac arrest patients throughout the ongoing incident.