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World More than 4,000 Covid patients now on ventilators

20:55  23 january  2021
20:55  23 january  2021 Source:   bbc.com

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The number of coronavirus patients on mechanical ventilation in the UK has passed 4,000 for the first time in the pandemic.

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A total of 4,076 Covid patients were on hospital ventilators as of Friday, according to government data.

That is higher than during the first wave, when the peak was 3,301 on 12 April.

It comes as another 1,348 deaths and 33,552 new infections were reported on Saturday.

The UK's chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, told a Downing Street news briefing on Friday: "The death rate's awful and it's going to stay, I'm afraid, high for a little while before it starts coming down."

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Meanwhile, new figures show that a record number of seriously-ill Covid patients are being transferred from over-stretched hospitals because of a lack of bed space.

About 1 in 10 patients admitted to intensive care are being sent to a different site, according to the body which audits critical care services.

It comes as some scientists said that signs a new Covid variant is more deadly than the earlier version should not be a "game changer" in the UK's response to the pandemic.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday that there was "some evidence" the variant that emerged in the UK may be associated with "a higher degree of mortality".

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But the co-author of the study the PM was referring to said the variant's deadliness remained an "open question".

Another adviser said he was surprised Mr Johnson had shared the findings when the data was "not particularly strong". A third top medic said it was "too early" to be "absolutely clear".

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  More than 4,000 Covid patients now on ventilators © BBC

Public Health England medical director Dr Yvonne Doyle also said it was not "absolutely clear" the new variant was more deadly than the original.

"There is some evidence, but it is very early evidence. It is small numbers of cases and it is far too early to say," she told the Today programme.

Meanwhile, senior doctors are calling on England's chief medical officer to cut the gap between the first and second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine.

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The British Medical Association told Prof Chris Whitty an extension to the maximum gap between jab from three weeks to 12 weeks, to get the first dose to more people, was "difficult to justify".

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COVID-19 Deaths Are 25 Percent Higher Than in Any Previous Week .
States reported 23,259 COVID-19 deaths this week, and the number of people hospitalized with the disease is still rising.For 16 weeks, throughout the fall and then straight through the data disruptions around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day, the number of people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 has risen. On October 13, there were 36,000 people with COVID-19 in U.S. hospitals. Yesterday, on January 13, there were 130,000.

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