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UK in 'eye of the storm' amid surging new coronavirus cases

January 2, 2021 8:43 am

British hospitals around the country face a perilous situation in January, medical workers warned today amid surging coronavirus infections blamed on a new virus variant. Authorities pressed to reactivate field hospitals previously mothballed just to handle the crush of new patients.

Concerns are mounting about the ability of the already-stretched National Health Service to cope with the anticipated increase in people seeking treatment for Covid-19 infections over the coming weeks that could be further fueled by holiday gatherings over Christmas and New Year’s.

On Friday, the UK. recorded another 53,285 new infections, down slightly from the previous day’s record high of 55,892. Although comparisons with the outset of the pandemic are difficult given that testing was limited in the spring, the UK has recorded its four highest daily new infection numbers over the past four days — all above 50,000 and around double the daily number of a few weeks ago.

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The Royal College of Nursing’s England director, Mike Adams, told Sky News that the UK was in the “eye of the storm” and that it was “infuriating” to see people not following social distancing guidance or wearing masks.

A leading physician also warned of burnout among health workers on the front line in hospitals, while also urging people to follow the rules.

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