London could give pointer to the rest of the UK – declining rate of hospitalisation and relatively flat mechanical beds


If you look at the rate of change of Covid beds things are seemingly more positive. Whereas before new year the number of Covid patients in hospital in London was growing by 5 per cent a day, for the past two days it has been 1 to 2 per cent. Admissions — as opposed to occupied beds — appear to be dropping at last.

Better still, the number of patients in intensive care appears unchanged — an indication, albeit a very early one, that those ending up in hospital are less sick this time round.

In other words, in the part of Britain that provides a glimpse of our national future, surging Covid admissions are a bit less surgy. It is in such fine gradations that we can draw hope.

And draw hope we have. Nadhim Zahawi, the former vaccines minister, said that in London, the “epicentre” of Britain’s Omicron outbreak, infections are “beginning to plateau, if not drop”.

Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents hospitals in England, agreed that London could be key to understanding the national picture “as they went into this Omicron peak first and will therefore emerge first”.

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