NHS will be 'near breaking point' if daily cases hit 80,000, ICU doctor tells LBC

5 January 2021, 09:05

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

The NHS will be "close to breaking point" if daily coronavirus cases hit 80,000, an intensive care consultant has told LBC.

Dr Alison Pittard told Nick Ferrari on his morning show that there is a "real concern" among NHS staff that the service is at risk of being overwhelmed "within three weeks" if infections keep rising.

It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said during Monday's televised address to the nation, where he announced a third national lockdown for England, that more than 80,000 people tested positive for Covid on 29 December.

He said: "Our hospitals are under more pressure than ever before – England’s hospitalisations have increased by 30 per cent in the last week.

"On 29 December, more than 80,000 people tested positive for Covid across the UK - a new record. Deaths are up by 20 per cent in the last week and will rise further.

"It’s clear we need to do more together."

Read more: Gove tells LBC flight restrictions ‘may go further’ than South Africa ban

An intensive care consultant warned that the NHS is near breaking point
An intensive care consultant warned that the NHS is near breaking point. Picture: Getty / LBC

Responding to those numbers, Dr Pittard warned that if they continue to rise over the next few weeks then lives will be at risk.

"Hearing those figures of over 80,000 positive cases, in 10 to 14 days' time, if that translates into the same number of hospital admissions as intensive care admissions, we are looking at being close to breaking point," she said.

"We need to stop that.

"It's not just the NHS that's under attack.

"This is people's lives that we're talking about and anything we can do to try and save lives is really important."

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