According to official data, hospital admissions for covids in London’s Omicron hotspot have risen by more than one third over the past week. There are fears that NHS wards will be just as affected as during the second wave.

The ultra-infectious strain already makes up three-quarters of all new cases in the capital, which yesterday posted 23,000 cases — a record high.

Experts call for stricter restrictions on the city to prevent the spread. It is believed that the disease could double in the next one-and a half days. However, Tory MPs have asked ministers not to forget the vaccine-based wall of defense.

Already, hospitals have begun to rise in capital city. This is a sign of what government advisers believe will happen in rest of country. Despite the fact that admissions are rising in capital, they remain very low. 

On Tuesday night, 199 patients infected with the virus were admitted to London’s wards. This is according to UKHSA statistics. The number of infected patients was 34% higher than the week before. This is compared to the nearly 1000 daily recorded in the darkest days during January’s second wave.

However, admissions could rise even more due to the length of time that it takes for an infected person to get severe symptoms.

NHS England statistics show eight London hospitals that have been the worst-hit over the past week saw their hospital admissions nearly double. Croydon Health Services Trust already has half of its critical care beds taken by Covid patients.  

As they move doctors and nurses closer to the frontlines, several trusts in capital have stopped accepting non-urgent procedures such as knee and hip replacements.

Covid hospital admissions have spiked by more than a third in a week in Britain's Omicron hotspot of London, official data shows

Official data shows that covid hospital admissions in Britain’s Omicron hotspot London have increased by over a third within a week. 

Croydon Health Services Trust has already seen half its critical care beds taken up by Covid patients. Map shows: The top pen worst and least affected hospitals in terms of Covid critical care bed occupancy in the capital

Croydon Health Services Trust already has half of its critical care beds filled by Covid patients. Map showing: Top pen hospitals with the lowest occupancy of Covid-critical care beds in London.

MailOnline has analysed NHS England data and found that overall Covid hospital beds in London rose by one fifth over the week. This could be a sign of Omicron’s plans for the capital. Map: This map shows the top pen least and most affected hospitals for Covid beds occupancy in London.


LONDON CASES: Cases spiralled by 130 per cent in a week to 19,643 in London on Tuesday, the latest date regional data is available for

LONDON CASE: The number of cases rose by 130% in one week, to 19,643 Londoners on Tuesday. This is the most recent date that regional data are available.


LONDON DEATHS: The surge in cases has yet to have an impact on mortality, however, with 10 deaths within 28 days of a positive test recorded on Tuesday. Fatalities usually lag at least two weeks behind changes in infection because of the time it takes for the virus to incubate and become deadly

LONDON DEATHS – The increase in cases has not had an effect on mortality. Tuesday saw 10 deaths following a positive test. Due to the length of time for the virus’s incubation and death, fatalities often occur two weeks or more behind the changes in infection.

LONDON TESTING: Swabbing has been increasing consistently in the capital since the start of November, surging to more than 1.6million on Wednesday

LONDON TESTING: The number of people swibbing in the capital has been steadily increasing since November and soared to over 1.6million Wednesday.

The above graph shows the infection rate in age groups compared to the same time a week ago. It reveals that cases are now more than doubling week-on-week among adults in their 20s, and rising in all over-15s

Below is a graph showing the incidence of infection in different age groups, compared to a week earlier. This graph shows how cases have increased more than twice in the past week among people in their 20s and 15s.

This map illustrates the percentage of Covid cases that are triggered by Omicron in England’s different regions. The variant is dominant in London where it’s believed that 60 percent of the cases have been triggered. 

The UK Health Security Agency's estimated doubling times for Omicron in every region of England. The variant is believed to be doubling every one-and-a-half days in London

According to the UK Health Security Agency, Omicron is estimated to have doubled in all regions of England. It is thought that the variant doubles every two-and-a half days in London

Official data show cases are growing by up to 48 per cent a week in the worst-hit boroughs, which include Barking and Dagenham, Hackney and City of London and Greenwich
Official data show cases are growing by up to 48 per cent a week in the worst-hit boroughs, which include Barking and Dagenham, Hackney and City of London and Greenwich

According to official data, cases in some of the most hard-hit areas, such as Barking, Hackney, City of London, Greenwich, and Dagenham are increasing by 48 percent per week.

NHS forces to abandon rules asking fully-vaccinated staff to isolate their Covid patients for 10 days 

Today, the NHS removed self-isolation requirements from staff with positive Covid cases. This was in response to staff absences that increased by 40% over a single week.

Initially, doctors and nurses were told to avoid wards for 10 days if they discovered that a loved one had contracted the virus. This was regardless of the fact that they’d been negative.

Updated guidance was published last night advising fully-vaccinated workers to return to work once they have received a positive PCR test. Additionally, they must take daily lateral flow testing.

The question of why this stringent requirement has been dropped took place in light of the fact that self-isolation rules were removed for the double-vaccinated in England four or five months prior. 

According to current guidance, fully-vaccinated individuals who have been in close contact with a positive case are asked to perform a lateral flow testing every day for one week. People who are not vaccinated must be isolated for 10 days. 

Fears that doctors and nurses may unwittingly pass the virus on to hospital patients have been raised by this move. About 12 per cent, or 500, of Covid admissions last week in England, were made by patients who had previously been treated for an additional condition like a bad fall. 

It comes amid fears London’s NHS is already creaking at the seams, with hospitals cancelling operations and battling against surging Covid absences — in what could be a warning sign for the rest of the country. 

As they try to fight staff shortages, several trusts in capital have stopped accepting ‘non-urgent” procedures such as knee and hip replacements. Due to the virus, approximately 1,000 have been forced from work. 

Capital’s hospitalisations increased by 50 percent week-on–week. Admissions rose from 133 a day to 199 per day as of December 14, the most recent date. As more people are diagnosed with the virus, there is a growing concern that these numbers will rise.

MailOnline has found that overall Covid hospital beds in London have increased by five percent in the last week according to NHS England data. This could be a sign of Omicron’s plans for the capital.

The bed occupancy metric is different from admissions. It takes into consideration discharges. Patients are known to spend less time in hospitals now that they have received vaccines. The UKHSA admits numbers are slightly higher.

In total, 990 of the city’s 13,145 beds were occupied by Covid patients on December 14, 7.5 per cent of the total beds available. 

Homerton University Hospital Foundation Trust was the most in-demand, as Covid patients doubled the number of available beds.

The raw number of beds in Epsom University Hospitals Trust and St Helier University Hospitals trust increased by a third, from 27 to 57.

Covid patients are increasing in number at some capital’s most prestigious hospitals. Barts Health Trust serves nearly 2.6million patients and witnessed a 22.9% increase in its 112. 

The NHS faces strain due to normal winter pressures, and the backlog from demand resulting from the pandemic. It has less room for dealing with Covid surges.

Omicron’s rapid expansion has caused a surge in absenteeism, adding to the already stretched workforce. 

London’s two hospitals claimed they had no beds available, meaning that they cannot handle the expected surge in patient demand over the next few weeks.  

This week, there were zero beds unoccupied at The Hillingdon Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust or North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust.

All across the nation, hospital chiefs were told by their superiors to let go as many of these patients as they can without a bed. If it’s safe, they should be transferred to hospitals, care homes and hospices.

Following No10’s modeling that showed hospital admissions could rise to levels not seen since January last year’s nation’s second outbreak, which saw 4,000 people infected and requiring medical care each day, hospitals have been put on high alert. 

It was revealed that nurses from Spain and Greece are flying in to provide temporary help at the hotels being transformed into Christmas care facilities to deal with the crisis. 

Separate data also shows a fifth of London’s critical care beds are already occupied by Covid patients, with some hospitals also reporting they have none of these beds currently available. 

While Covid patients are not being admitted to critical care in the capital at an increase of four percent, there is a growing number of virus-infected patients. 

Croydon Health Services NHS Trust was the most severely affected, with eight out of its 16 critical-care beds taken by Covid patients. That’s a 33% rise over last week.

Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has a similar situation with six beds being taken by Covid patients. However, this represents a 14% decrease from last week. 

The only hospital that had zero beds for critical care this week was North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust.

Other reports were similar with 8 reporting that they had less than 5 of these beds. 

Graph shows: The cumulative number of Omicron cases confirmed in the UK, broken down by nations

Figure 1: The graph below shows how many Omicron cases have been confirmed in the UK. This is broken down into countries.

The Department of Health has data that London is seeing almost as many cases than January 2013. London had been hit by the Alpha variant last January and was subject to harsher treatment than the rest of Britain.

London’s current crisis began with teenagers and older adults aged between 20 and 30. They were already seeing an increase in the number of cases 2 weeks before Omicron was discovered. Infections started to rise in the over-60s days after Omicron was confirmed to be in Britain, according to MailOnline analysis.

Another warning sign is the UK Health Security Agency data yesterday which revealed that London now contains the 25 regions with the most rapidly growing epidemics in England.

Experts admit that the capital’s crisis is inevitable because of the virus running out of space. People heed dire warnings by Boris Johnson, Professor Chris Whitty and their plea for people to prioritize the most important social events over the next days.

The experts said they doubt the epidemic of new cases seen among younger people will be felt in older adults, as these are more vulnerable. Professor Paul Hunter of the University of East Anglia said, “This may partly be because others age groups don’t socialize as much.” 

He also said Britain’s booster vaccine drive — which prioritised older adults — should help to thwart the virus’s spread, even though three jabs won’t protect thousands from catching the virus and getting ill.

Scientists hope it will mean that the NHS won’t be under immense pressure from the rapidly rising number of cases. The data also suggests that two vaccines may still be effective at reducing the severity of serious illness. Chris Whitty, yesterday, suggested that three Omicron shots might work better than just two Delta shots.