Hospitalizations soar as Omicron takes hold in London
Though scientists say the new variant is less deadly, hospital admissions in the British capital tripled in December
The number of people being admitted to hospitals in the UK capital more than tripled in December as the Omicron strain of coronavirus took hold and spread like wildfire across Britain.
Data published on Tuesday evening on the UK government’s Covid-19 dashboard, shows that London’s hospitals have been put under increased pressure due to the arrival of the Omicron variant, despite scientists saying it is less virulent.
Around 100 people a day were being admitted to hospital at the beginning of December, but that grew to 364 on Christmas Day and 374 on Boxing Day.
In total, there are 3,024 patients suffering from Covid-19 in London’s hospitals and 216 on mechanical ventilation. The capital accounts for a disproportionate number of the country’s Covid-19 hospitalizations, with a total of 8,240 hospitalized across the UK.
Countrywide data does not yet show a substantial increase in hospitalizations, although national figures for hospitalizations have not been updated since December 20.
According to The Times on Wednesday, hospitals may be forced to cancel non-urgent care, given both the rising number of Covid-19 patients and the loss of staff to self-isolation after they are exposed to or infected with the virus.
London has some of the lowest vaccination rates in the country. Nearly a third of Londoners are yet to be fully inoculated against the coronavirus.
The Omicron variant of Covid-19 has swept through the UK in recent weeks, engendering record-high infection rates and triggering new restrictions in Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland. Scientists are of the view that it is less deadly than previous strains.