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Covid-19 hospital admissions 'towards 1,000 people a day', Sir Patrick Vallance says
22 October 2020, 16:25 | Updated: 22 October 2020, 16:50
The number of people being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 is heading "towards 1,000 people a day", the Chief Scientific Adviser has warned.
Sir Patrick Vallance revealed new data showing a sharp increase in the number of hospitalisations and total people being treated in hospital.
At a Downing Street press conference on Thursday, he warned that intensive care beds were increasingly running out as infections rise and more people are admitted.
But he sounded a note of optimism that the R number was heading back towards one, with Boris Johnson saying "our collective action is working".
Sir Patrick stressed the need, however, to reduce the number of infections to avoid placing pressure on the NHS across the country, which would in turn affect treatment for other illnesses such as cancer.
He told reporters: "One of the reasons that care for other conditions like cardiovascular disease and oncology, cancer care, gets affected is not the measures taken to stop Covid, it's the patients with Covid who start to occupy beds.
"The more patients there are with Covid, the more the pressure on the healthcare system overall, and the more the other conditions get affected because people don't have the capacity to deal with it."
The Prime Minister thanked people for their "bravery" and "patience" in living under local restrictions.
LBC Westminster Correspondent Ben Kentish asked the Prime Minister about recent Test and Trace figures which show only one in seven people were getting a Covid-19 test result in 24 hours - the lowest since the system began.
"I share people's frustration and i understand totally... we do need to see faster turnaround times and we do need to improve it," Mr Johnson responded.
"We need to make sure that people who do get a positive test self-isolate - that's absolutely crucial if this thing is going to work."
He applauded the "colossal" achievements of the Test and Trace system so far, highlight how daily tests have increased tenfold in just a few months.
He added: "We've done 26 million tests - more than any other country in Europe - and we are on track to reach a capacity of 500,000 by the end of this month."