As of January 6, there were 7,034 Covid-19 patients at the city’s hospitals, with 908 of them on lung ventilation, the mayor’s office revealed.
The accelerating spread of the illness has put additional pressure on other emergency workers as well, with the city’s Ambulance Service now taking up to 8,000 emergency calls a day, compared to some 5,500 on a typical busy day.
There’s no doubt that we’re facing the most dangerous moment yet in this pandemic.— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) January 8, 2021
The truth is I’ve never been more concerned than I am right now.
At this critical moment for our city – I implore Londoners to please stay at home.pic.twitter.com/LAQa7mbIrM
New in coronavirus today:— Emily Ashton (@elashton) January 8, 2021
– Sadiq Khan declares major incident in London, warning that virus now "out of control"
– Official R rate now 1.0-1.4, virus spreading in all parts of England
– Met Police says health service "nearing breaking point"
Story here:https://t.co/gYmwJrslR1 pic.twitter.com/xBD9MUAuDp
The mayor’s announcement also follows projections reportedly presented to doctors by NHS England’s London Medical Director Dr. Vin Diwakar at a briefing on Thursday.
Forecasts have shown that the city’s hospitals are just two weeks from being overwhelmed by the coronavirus – and that’s under the ‘best-case’ scenario, which projects a four percent daily growth in demand for hospital beds. The worst-case scenario, however, envisions a six percent daily growth, which would put the city out of hospital beds even sooner.
Britain’s transport secretary has warned that the vaccines being rolled out to put an end to the Covid-19 pandemic may not work properly against the mutant variant of coronavirus first found in South Africa.
Speaking on Friday to LBC Radio, British Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said there was concern amongst the scientific community as to whether the vaccines produced will offer protection against new virus strains.
“The South African variant is worrying the experts because it may be that the vaccine doesn’t respond in the same way or doesn’t work in quite the same way,” Shapps said.
“This South African variant – this is a very big concern for the scientists.”
According to a laboratory study conducted by the US drug maker Pfizer, their Covid-19 vaccine still demonstrates efficacy against a key mutation in the highly transmissible new variants of the coronavirus discovered in the UK and South Africa.
The study by Pfizer and scientists from the University of Texas Medical Branch, which is yet to be peer reviewed, suggested that vaccine was effective in neutralising the virus with the so-called N501Y mutation of the spike protein.