There is growing concern, with coronavirus cases continuing to rise, that “the NHS could be overwhelmed again”, according to one worried-sounding NHS Trust chief speaking to the BBC this evening.
And that’s before Monday’s planned relaxation of pretty much all restrictions, despite the prevalence of the Johnson Variant, also known to some as the Delta Variant, causing a third wave of infections.
Because of the use of vaccines, the number of hospital admissions thus far have been lower than was experienced during the first two waves of covid-19 infections. But with frontline NHS staff in many hospitals having been working at close to full capacity since March 2020, there is growing pressure on waiting lists for other, non-covid treatments which have had to be postponed.
And there is also concern, particularly in Croydon, about vaccination uptake. Official figures suggest a relatively lower uptake of the jab by Croydon residents.
Official figures available up to July 7 show that there were 16 Covid-19 patients, including two on ventilators, in Croydon hospitals.
For the seven days up to July 2, there was a case rate in the borough of 174.8 per 100,000 people, nearly double the 90.8 per 100,000 the previous week.
Today across the UK, there have been 50 deaths within 28 days of a positive test. That’s the worst daily death toll since early April. An additional 36,660 cases were registered, according to official data.
Meanwhile, there’s a record number of pupils out of school, with more than 830,000 children missing classes last week across the country.
According to figures from the Department for Education, these include approximately 747,000 children self-isolating due to a possible contact with a covid-19 case, 35,000 pupils with a suspected case of coronavirus and 39,000 with a confirmed case of Covid-19. Of course, generally, children under the age of 18 now form the largest age group in the population to not have received any vaccines.
There have been renewed calls for those who have not yet taken advantage of the NHS’s vaccine service to do so, and urgently.
So far, according to NHS figures for south-west London, 375,000 vaccines have been delivered in Croydon.
“While this is an incredible accomplishment, we know there is still more work to be done to encourage as many people as possible to take up the offer of a vaccine,” said Dr Agnelo Fernandes, the GP borough lead for Croydon at the South-West London NHS Clinical Commissioning Group.
“Vaccination is the best way we can protect ourselves and others and get back to normal. That’s why the NHS in Croydon is organising a big vaccine drive, in advance of Monday July 19, when most restrictions are likely to end, and we need your help.”
The vaccines remain available for anyone aged 18 and over and are open to anyone who has yet to receive a first vaccine, and for second doses as long as it has been eight weeks since the first jab.
Dr Fernandes said, “Nurses, pharmacists and other clinical staff will be on hand at many of our vaccine sites to talk through any issues with local people who are still unsure about getting the vaccine.”
This week the walk-in sessions will be held at:
- Centrale Shopping Centre – 8am to 7pm, everyday until Monday 19 July – Both Pfizer and Oxford AZ
- Croydon University Hospital – 8am to 7pm, until Friday 16 July – Pfizer
- Mayday Community Pharmacy – 9.30am to 6pm, every day in July – Both Pfizer and Oxford AZ
- Selhurst Park Stadium – 8.30am to 7pm, every day until Monday 19 July – Both Pfizer and Oxford AZ
- Fieldway Community Centre – 10am to 6pm, Thursday 15 July and Saturday 17 July
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