Homerton Hospital remains 'busy' as Omicron variant spreads

Ilford Road Baptist Church has been praying for doctors and nurses caring for Covid patients

Hackney's Homerton Hospital saw a doubling of daily numbers admitted to hospital from December 11 - Credit: PA

Visitor restrictions have been tightened with one ward given over entirely for Covid patients, a Homerton Hospital spokesperson has said. 

Health secretary Sajid Javid has said that, due to a rise in omicron cases, the UK's chief medical officers raised the covid alert level to 4 - the country's second highest level. 

Mr Javid also announced NHS England would return to its highest level of emergency preparedness, Level 4 National Incident, meaning the NHS response to Omicron "will be coordinated as a national effort, rather than led by individual trusts". 

The health secretary said on December 13 in Parliament: "There are currently 10 confirmed people in England who have been hospitalised with Omicron.

"It’s vital we remember that hospitalisations and deaths lag infections by around two weeks. So we can expect those numbers to dramatically increase in the days and weeks that lie ahead."

Covid cases in Hackney have been rising with 931 cases reported in the week ending November 30 and 1,378 the following week

Covid cases in Hackney have been rising with 931 cases reported in the week ending November 30 and 1,378 the following week - Credit: Hackney Council

The latest Hackney figures, from December 10, reported 13 confirmed cases in Hackney and City of London - along with an additional 19 suspected cases. 

A spokesperson for Homerton Hospital said: "The hospital remains busy."

The hospital opened its winter escalation ward early in November to cope with demand, with one ward being used exclusively for Covid patients.

The spokesperson added that from Saturday (December 11) Homerton saw a doubling of daily numbers admitted to the hospital, from 200 to more than 400. 

They said members of the public are invited to have booster jabs at St Leonard's Hospital.

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Meanwhile, adults in England will now have to show a covid pass to enter nightclubs and large events like sports matches.

Despite 99 Conservative MPs voting against the plans they passed as a result of Labour support in the Commons. 

Deaths in Hackney are below the five year average

Deaths in Hackney are below the five year average - Credit: Hackney Council

Anyone over 18 will have to prove they are double vaccinated or have a negative PCR or lateral flow test result within the last 48 hours - or have an exemption - to enter nightclubs, any venue with more than 10,000 people, indoor unseated venues with more than 500 people and unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people. 

Cases in Hackney rose by 48 per cent last week but deaths from covid and other causes were well below the five year average.