Sadiq Khan: 'This virus is out of control, the NHS is stretched, staff are stretched...'

4 January 2021, 14:37 | Updated: 4 January 2021, 20:17

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The Mayor of London has warned the coronavirus pandemic is "out of control" as he explains the Nightingale hospital has been "reactivated."

"Let me be quite straight and candid with you, this virus is out of control," Sadiq Khan told LBC's Shelagh Fogarty.

Speaking amid a national conversation over an increase in coronavirus restrictions the Mayor said the NHS and its staff are stretched.

"We have more patients in hospitals in London now with Covid that any time in March, April, or May during the peak," he revealed.

Warning of "additional non-Covid winter pressures," Mr Khan said hospitals were "adapting and being flexible."

Read more: 'We're all exhausted' - NHS nurse tells LBC the 'dire' state at her hospital

But he warned NHS staff were under "increasing pressure" as he told LBC the capital's Nightingale hospital has been "reactivated."

He explained the specialist Covid hospital would be opening up again over the course of the next couple of weeks.

"I don't want any Londoner to be under any impression other than the fact this virus is out of control."

Read more: Boris Johnson confirms tougher new Covid-19 measures will be announced soon

Read more: More Tier 3 areas could move to Tier 4, Health Secretary suggests to LBC

The Mayor was speaking to LBC just hours before Boris Johnson imposed a third national lockdown on England and shut schools to most students to prevent the NHS being overwhelmed by surging coronavirus infections.

In a televised address to the nation on Monday night, the Prime Minister told the nation to stay indoors other than for limited exceptions, with measures expected to last until mid-February.

And the Prime Minister bowed to significant pressure to order primary schools, secondaries and colleges to move to remote teaching for the majority of students from Tuesday.

Mr Johnson said the new variant - which is 50% to 70% more transmissible - was spreading in a "frustrating and alarming" manner.

"As I speak to you tonight, our hospitals are under more pressure from Covid than at any time since the start of the pandemic," he said.