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11 Jan, 2021 21:04

English hospitals won't see reduction in Covid admissions until FEBRUARY, health service chief warns

English hospitals won't see reduction in Covid admissions until FEBRUARY, health service chief warns

Number of Covid-19 patients in English hospitals isn't going to drop in the coming weeks as the country hasn't yet seen the full impact of the Christmas loosening of restrictions, NHS England's National Medical Director warned.

Coronavirus infections and the death rate remain "stubbornly high," putting hospitals in England under "significant and sustained" pressure, Professor Stephen Powis said during a Downing Street press conference on Monday.

There are now over 13,000 more Covid-19 patients in hospital than there were on Christmas Day, he pointed out. According to official data, the number of people hospitalised in England stood at 32,070 on Monday.

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"We are not going to see reductions in admissions until February," Powis said.The health chief called vaccines "the best line of defence" against coronavirus, announcing that seven new inoculation hubs and more than 1,000 pharmacies were preparing to administer jabs to the population.

However, he warned that a vaccination wasn't a free pass to ignore national coronavirus guidance, adding that it's critical people follow the rules and "keep focus and resilience" in order to reduce deaths from Covid-19 and help the NHS cope with the situation.

Health authorities across the UK reported 46,169 new Covid cases on Monday and a further 529 deaths within 28 days of a positive test, bringing the toll to 81,960.

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