Subscribe to the Evening Standard on YouTube:
A major incident was declared across London today as the number of Covid cases and sick patients in hospital hit “critical” levels.
Mayor Sadiq Khan made the emergency declaration to fast-track national help for the NHS, which he said was “on the cusp of being overwhelmed” and running out of beds. The virus is “out of control” in the capital, he said, and Londoners are under orders to obey the lockdown and not mix over the weekend.
There are more than 7,000 Covid patients in London hospitals — almost 2,000 more than the first peak last April — and almost 1,000 are on ventilators.
Intensive care doctors said people aged 19 to 30 were being hospitalised with the new “Kent strain” of the virus and issued an alert to critical care colleagues across mainland Europe. A further 10,000 Londoners tested positive for Covid yesterday and the seven-day rate of 1, cases per 100,000 people is by some distance the highest in the country.