Nightingale hospital at London’s ExCel centre to open next week as Covid admissions reach record high

The hospital, which will also be a vaccination hub, was one of several built in the spring to help during the pandemic. In the event, they were barely used and were mothballed for use potentially during further waves of the crisis.

A move to open the ExCel centre for patients next week came as hospital admissions of people with Covid-19 reached another record high in England, figures showed.

The pressures facing hospitals in London and the southeast of England are particularly acute, NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens said.

( NHS workers leaving the NHS Nightingale Hospital at the ExCel centre in London last year / PA )

A total of 3,697 admissions in England were reported for January 5, passing the previous record of 3,587 on January 4.

During the first wave of the virus, admissions peaked at 3,099 on April 1 2020.

The UK’s total virus-related death toll is now 78,508.

According to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the UK is again Europe’s worst-hit nation in terms of total Covid deaths.

Though the number of new cases fell to 52,618 from the previous day’s record of 62,322, the seven-day average is running around three times higher than a month ago.

Given the lags involved, the UK could well face many more days of very high daily coronavirus-related deaths.


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