COVID-19: Winter lockdown in the cards amid hospital bed shortage

A new lockdown might have to come into effect as a concerning shortage of hospital beds has been recorded amid growing number of COVID infections.

COVID-19: Winter lockdown in the cards amid hospital bed shortage
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The NHS is coming under fire after it was found that there is currently a shortage in hospital beds which could force the UK to enter a new lockdown as winter approaches.

A dangerous shortage

Medical experts and MPs are urging the government to increase their bed count by adding, at the very least, 4,900 beds to make sure hospitals are not overwhelmed in the coming months.

As winter is responsible for an influx of acute respiratory pathogens, the importance of preparing for the worst should be prioritised to avoid any further unnecessary lockdowns and loss of freedom. Former Cabinet minister Esther McVey explained that:

If the Government had done as they promised at the time of the first lockdown then we wouldn't have seen the subsequent lockdowns ‑ which destroyed people's jobs, businesses and livelihoods as well as our freedoms.

And added:

We wouldn't see the number of people waiting for hospital treatment now standing at a staggering five million. I am sure I cannot be the only person shocked that the number of hospital beds has gone down since the pandemic started rather than up.

Increasing COVID numbers

The UK recorded a worrying 37,578 number of new COVID infections with 120 deaths this last Saturday compared to the 32,406 and 133 deaths the seven days prior. With infections on the rise, scientists are fearing, now more than ever, that strict measures will have to be reimposed. Director of the Centre of Oxford university's evidence based medicine, Dr. Carl Heneghan has been pushing for greater bed capacity by saying that:

If I were the chief medical officer, I would consider an urgent review about what capacity is required. There is roughly a 20 percent increase in winter, due to the impact of acute respiratory pathogens.

He continued:

The difference between admissions in August for respiratory diseases in winter can be as much as 15,000 a month ‑ at least 15 percent of the hundred thousand capacity we currently have in place for adults.