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20 December 2021

How Omicron has already led to a surge in London hospitalisations

Covid-19 hospital admissions in the capital have risen by 42 per cent in the last week.

By Patrick Scott

London is once again bearing the brunt of Covid-19 as the Omicron variant sweeps across the capital. Confirmed cases in the city have risen to record levels in recent days, with 15 December seeing the highest so far with nearly 27,000.

Hospitalisations lag cases by around ten days so the impact on London’s healthcare system from the latest wave of cases – a wave that is still rising – is still to come. However, the data is already showing an increase with 1,196 admissions in the week to 15 December, up by 42 per cent on the previous seven-day period. 

While early reports suggest that Omicron may lead to less severe outcomes than previous variants, the scale of the current wave alone could still lead to admissions levels that would threaten the ability of the NHS to fully function.

The severity of the situation should become clearer over the next week, but it may yet prove necessary for the government to introduce further restrictions to prevent the health service from being overwhelmed.

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