COVID intensive care admissions double in London – even as hospital numbers remain relatively low

James Morris
·Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
·2 mins read
Prof Chris Whitty said ICU admissions are 'heading the wrong way'. (@10DowningStreet/Twitter)
Prof Chris Whitty said ICU admissions are 'heading the wrong way'. (@10DowningStreet/Twitter)

The number of critically ill COVID-19 patients is spiking in London despite the capital having a relatively low number of people in hospital with the virus.

Intensive care unit (ICU) admissions for coronavirus patients have more than doubled, new government data shows.

A graph (below) presented at Wednesday’s Downing Street press conference suggests ICU admissions in London jumped from 0.18 per 100,000 people in the week ending 13 September to 0.42 per 100,000 in the week ending 20 September.

(UK government)
(UK government)

However, other government charts (below) show only a steady increase in London’s general COVID hospital admissions.

(UK government)
(UK government)

Data on ICU admissions is being closely monitored during the second wave of the pandemic because people in intensive care face a “significantly” increased risk of dying.

England’s chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty, who presented the graph, said: “In the North East, North West but also in London, we are seeing a significant uptick in the number of people who are entering intensive care.

“This is not yet at a stage where it is threatening our ability to have intensive care – there is still significant capacity in the NHS system – but this is definitely heading the wrong way.”

It came after the government announced a further 7,108 confirmed COVID-19 infections on Wednesday, slightly down from the 7,143 reported on Tuesday.

This was the highest daily figure since the outbreak began, though far more tests are now being carried out than in the spring, when the actual infection rate is thought to have been much higher.

Watch: People in England face £10,000 fines for not self-isolating

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