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London Covid-19

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

Royal Free London (@RoyalFreeNHS) | Twitter

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. 

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“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. 

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