Homerton Hospital says 'stay home' after 'major incident' declared

An ambulance outside an entrance to Southend University hospital in Essex. Hospitals in the county h

The number of people in hospital with coronavirus in Stevenage has hit its highest point since records began. - Credit: PA

Homerton Hospital has asked people to stay home after the announcement of a "major incident" by the mayor of London. 

Mayor Sadiq Khan said, on January 8, that the spread of the virus threatens to "overwhelm" the capital's hospitals as Covid-19 cases continue to rise. 

A spokesperson for Homerton Hospital said: "We support the mayor's call for people to stay home and help the NHS at this extremely challenging time." 

They explained that the entire NHS is on Level Four, major incident mode, and the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is "fluid"  but managing.

The capacity at the hospital is reported as "under pressure" for all beds, with additional beds being provided for patients. 

"The hospital remains under intense pressure," the spokesperson said. 

On the week ending January 2, Hackney cases were 876 per 100,000 people - up 17 per cent from the previous week. 

Covid-19 cases in London have exceeded 1,000 per 100,000 people and there are now 35pc more coronavirus patients in hospital than during the peak of the pandemic in April, according to City Hall. 

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In addition to the announcement, Mr Khan has urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to provide more financial support for Londoners and for daily vaccination data. 

He is also asking for the closure of places of worship and for face masks to be worn routinely outside the home - including in crowded places and supermarket queues.

Weekly Covid-19 cases in Hackney, up to week ending January 2. 

Weekly Covid-19 cases in Hackney, up to week ending January 2. - Credit: Hackney Council

Mr Khan said the situation in London is "critical" and the spread of the virus "out of control". 

He added: “Our heroic doctors, nurses and NHS staff are doing an amazing job, but with cases rising so rapidly, our hospitals are at risk of being overwhelmed."

The mayor said hospitals could run out of beds in the next few weeks unless the spread slows down "drastically". 

“We are declaring a major incident because the threat this virus poses to our city is at crisis point," he added. 

Mayor Khan urged Londoners to continue to make "huge sacrifices" by staying home unless "absolutely necessary to leave".

A "major incident" is declared when a situation or event becomes so severe it requires special arrangements by emergency responders and hinders their ability to manage it.

READ MORE: 'Sadly, grimly necessary,' says Hackney mayor on third lockdown