October 12, 2020 12.58 pm This story is over 42 months old

Lincolnshire hospitals treating 16 COVID patients as scientists issue warning

Almost twice as many than at the height of the first wave

There are currently 16 COVID-19 patients in the county’s hospitals, United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust confirmed on Monday.

In a press briefing today government scientists said there are more people in hospital now with coronavirus nationally than before lockdown in March.

On March 24, the start of lockdown, ULHT had nine patients in its facilities.

Leading the briefing, England’s deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said there had been a “marked pick-up” of cases from early September.

He said the situation had changed in “a matter of a few days,” adding “that is clearly a matter of great concern to me.”

Cases across Greater Lincolnshire have increased by 1,427 so far in October, compared to 820 for the whole of September.

As part of the measures, the scientists confirmed that all healthcare staff in the highest risk areas would be tested regularly, regardless of whether they showed symptoms or not.

They also announced that Nightingale hospitals In Manchester, Sunderland and Harrogate were being put on standby.

Although the main resurgence had been mainly in adults aged 20-29, there were also signs age groups of 60-plus were now beginning to rise again, particularly the 85+.

“The claim that the elderly can somehow be fenced off from risk is wishful thinking,” said NHS England’s medical director Steve Powis.

He said measures needed to be taken to control the virus now, warning that if they were not “the death toll will be too high to bear”.

Dr Jane Eddleston, from Manchester University’s Foundation Trust, warned people to take the virus “extremely seriously” as nearly 40% of England’s cases are currently in the north-west of England.

The briefing comes ahead of an announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The PM is set to appear before the House of Commons at 3.30pm where he will introduce a new three-tier alert system before addressing the public via television at 6pm.