Omicron is putting the UK’s healthcare system at risk?
In the northwest of the country, about one in ten people had Covid in the first week of January. A significant circulation rate is indicative of the pressure still exerted by the Omicron variant. According to data from the country’s health agency, the reproduction rate of Covid was estimated on Friday 14 January between 1.1 and 1.5.
However, it was between 1.2 and 1.5 the week before. A slight improvement that lets us hope for a gradual decrease in the coming days.
The peak of contamination seems to have been reached in London, the levels of infection continue to increase in all other regions, except in the east of the country. This evolution of the epidemic is also reflected in the country’s hospitalization figures.
According to the official data, the rate of hospital admissions has decreased significantly in London during the week of January 9, compared to the previous week, from 24.27 to 18.40 admissions per 100,000 inhabitants. The admission rate also fell slightly in the North East.
Only the London area appears to be experiencing a decrease in hospitalizations, as hospitalizations increased in most other areas, particularly in the northwest of England, which saw the largest increase. From the week ending January 2 to the week ending January 9, the hospital admission rate increased from 17.05 to 28.42.
These few signs of improvement are not enough to relieve the pressure exerted by the Omicron variant on the British health system. As of January 12, 19,721 patients were still hospitalized in the UK, including 785 in intensive care.
There is a lack of beds, but also of staff, also impacted by the wave of contamination, the British health system relies on the private service to manage to provide care outside Covid. The British Minister of Defense also announced last week the deployment of medical personnel from the army to address the shortage of caregivers.
Data from the UK are being closely scrutinized in France and Europe, where the outbreak is thought to be about a week late. In France, while the number of hospitalized patients is still increasing, the number of new admissions is starting to decrease slightly.