Covid-19 news: Hospitals in England declare critical incidents

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By Michael Le Page, Clare Wilson, Jessica Hamzelou, Sam Wong, Graham Lawton, Adam Vaughan, Conrad Quilty-Harper, Jason Arunn Murugesu and Layal Liverpool

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A antheral passes a impermanent ‘Nightingale’ tract infirmary constructed successful southbound London, England, 3 January 2022.

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Latest coronavirus quality arsenic of 12pm connected 4 January

Staff shortages unit wellness work providers to enact exigency measures

At slightest six National Health Service trusts successful England person declared captious incidents arsenic a effect of unit shortages caused by covid-19.

A captious incidental means that the healthcare providers judge they whitethorn nary longer beryllium capable to supply a scope of captious services, and the presumption enables them to telephone for assistance from unit and different organisations. University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay and United Lincolnshire Hospitals are among the trusts implementing exigency measures.

The main enforcement of the NHS Confederation, Matthew Taylor, wrote successful a blogpost that galore parts of the wellness work are presently successful “a authorities of crisis”, portion assemblage and societal attraction services are astatine “breaking point”. 

On a sojourn to a vaccination centre successful Buckinghamshire yesterday, Boris Johnson, the UK premier minister, said: “I deliberation we’ve got to recognise that the unit connected our NHS, connected our hospitals, is going to beryllium sizeable successful the people of the adjacent mates of weeks, and possibly more.”

Meanwhile, arsenic children instrumentality to schools today, the authorities has recommended the wearing of look masks successful secondary classrooms successful England, arsenic is already advised successful Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Head teachers person warned that precocious levels of unit absences could pb to children being sent location to larn remotely.

Other coronavirus news

Covid-19 cases whitethorn person plateaued successful London and could commencement to autumn successful different parts of the UK wrong 3 weeks, an epidemiologist and authorities advisor has said. Neil Ferguson, of Imperial College London, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that corruption rates successful the superior look to beryllium stabilising successful the 18 to 50 property group, which has been driving the omicron epidemic. 

“With an epidemic which has been spreading truthful rapidly and reaching specified precocious numbers, it can’t prolong those numbers forever, truthful we would expect to spot lawsuit numbers commencement to travel down successful the adjacent week; [they] whitethorn beryllium already coming down successful London, but successful different regions a week to 3 weeks,” helium said.

“Whether they past driblet precipitously, oregon we spot a signifier a spot similar we saw with delta backmost successful July of an archetypal driblet and past rather a precocious plateau, remains to beryllium seen. It’s conscionable excessively hard to construe existent mixing trends and what the effect of opening schools again volition be.”

In the US, thousands of schools person delayed the commencement of word oregon switched to distant learning amid surging cases caused by the omicron variant. New York City’s politician has vowed to support schools unfastened contempt soaring corruption rates, successful opposition to cities specified arsenic Milwaukee, Cleveland and Detroit. Nationwide, the fig of patients successful infirmary with covid-19 accrued by 40 per cent successful the past week, according to Reuters.

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorised a 3rd dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to beryllium fixed to children aged 12 to 15. A sheet advising the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will present decide whether to urge booster shots successful this property group.

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Our regular covid-19 update volition resume connected 4 January

Immunity offered by vaccines wanes much rapidly with omicron, finds UK study

The extortion conferred by booster vaccines against the omicron variant begins to wane wrong 10 weeks, according to a briefing released by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

Based connected an investigation of 147,597 delta and 68,489 omicron cases, the bureau recovered that the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are little effectual against omicron than delta. For radical who had 2 archetypal doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, the UKHSA estimates that Pfizer/BioNTech oregon Moderna boosters are astir 60 per cent effectual astatine preventing symptomatic infections from omicron 2 to 4 weeks aft the 3rd dose, but this falls to 35 to 45 per cent by 10 weeks. For those who had 2 archetypal doses of Pfizer/BioNTech, extortion falls from 70 per cent astatine 2 to 4 weeks to 45 per cent astatine 10 weeks aft a Pfizer booster, but stays astir 70 to 75 per cent up to 9 weeks aft a Moderna booster.

The UKHSA study besides estimates that idiosyncratic infected with omicron is 50 to 70 per cent little apt to beryllium admitted to hospital, compared with delta. This is based connected a preliminary investigation of 114,144 omicron cases and 461,772 delta cases occurring betwixt 22 November and 19 December. The quality is somewhat larger than suggested by a study published by Imperial College London connected Wednesday, which reported a 15 to 20 per cent little risk.

However, modelling suggests that the severity of omicron would request to beryllium astir 90 per cent little to debar akin levels of infirmary admissions to erstwhile waves, according to minutes from a gathering of the UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies connected Monday.

“What we person got present is simply a truly good equilibrium betwixt thing that looks similar a little hazard of hospitalisation – which is large quality – but arsenic a highly transmissible variant and 1 that we cognize evades immoderate of our immune defences, truthful it is simply a precise balanced position,” Jenny Harris, main enforcement of UKHSA, told the Today programme connected BBC Radio 4.

The UK recorded 119,789 caller cases of covid-19 yesterday, mounting different record. The Office for National Statistics estimates that 1.4 cardinal radical successful the UK had the microorganism successful the week ending 16 December, the highest fig since comparable figures began successful autumn 2020.

Other coronavirus news

Healthcare workers successful the US who person tested affirmative for covid-19 but bash not person symptoms tin stop isolating aft 7 days alternatively of 10, if they trial antagonistic for the virus, nether caller guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Italy has banned nationalist caller year’s eve celebrations arsenic good arsenic each concerts and unfastened aerial events until 31 January, aiming to curb a emergence successful infections driven by the omicron variant. Mask wearing volition besides beryllium compulsory successful outdoor nationalist places nether caller rules.

Australia volition chopped the interval betwixt 2nd doses and booster shots from 5 months to 4 from 4 January, and past to 3 months connected 31 January.

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