Public Health England (PHE) has warned that ‘hospitals are at their most vulnerable’ with Covid-19 cases rising above 40,000 in a single day in the UK for the first time.

Estimates showed that, presently there are more Covid-19 patients in England’s NHS hospitals than in April, when the pandemic was at its peak.

As of 28 December, 41,385 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases were reported in the UK, Metro reported the British Government as saying. In addition, 357 Covid-19 related deaths within 28 days of testing positive were recorded.

Around 20,426 patients were hospitalised in England on 28 December, surpassing the 18,974 patients recorded on 12 April—the initial period of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ever since the onset of the pandemic, this is the first time that the UK has recorded such a huge number of new infections.

The newspaper quoted PHE Medical Director Dr Yvonne Doyle saying: “This very high level of infection is of growing concern at a time when our hospitals are at their most vulnerable, with new admissions rising in many regions.”

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“Despite unprecedented levels of infection, there is hope on the horizon. We can tackle this virus by working together as the vaccine continues to reach the most vulnerable first, and then many more over the weeks and months ahead.”

South England hospitals are in a crisis, with a surge in the number of Covid-19 patients receiving treatment.

Paramedics in London are receiving nearly 8,000 999 calls each day and London Ambulance Service called 26 December as ‘one of the busiest ever’ days.

Irish Examiner quoted NHS Providers deputy chief executive Saffron Cordery as saying: “We know that the rate of Covid-19 admissions is rising and some trusts are reporting up to three times the number of Covid patients than at the peak of the first wave.

“This means hospitals and also ambulance services in Tier 4 areas and beyond are incredibly busy, compounded by increasing staff absences due to illness and the need to self-isolate.”

Furthermore, a south-east London hospital had to divert ambulances as fear mounted on the oxygen supply levels owing to the increase in Covid-19 patient numbers.