LONDON – British hospitals are under unprecedented stress as a rapidly spreading coronavirus variant tears across the country as pressure intensifies as doctors say they are saving more lives, meaning more hospital beds are in use.
The more contagious virus variant has led to a record number of hospital admissions and stretched the government-run national health service to its borders in some parts of the country. While dealing with the waves, doctors are trying to reduce the number of deaths in a number of ways, guided by the hard lessons of spring.
They have established protocols so that the elderly who carry the virus are not sent from hospitals to nursing homes, where last spring such movements shattered the spread of the virus that killed thousands. They use improved treatments for Covid-1
Meanwhile, they are continuing with optional surgeries so that people with serious conditions like cancer receive procedures. It also means there are more hospital beds.
The downside: hospitals are even fuller and under more pressure than they were last spring.