HOSPITAL ward visits in South Tyneside and Sunderland have been suspended after coronavirus hospitalisations surged from two to 80 in a month.
With some of the highest infection rates in England, health leaders say the rate of hospitalisation in the two areas is now doubling week-on-week.
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Cases in South Tyneside and Sunderland have dramatically increased[/caption]
There are now 80 people in hospital with the virus – compared to two this time last month.
The South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust has reported many people are seriously ill and receiving intensive care support.
They have also said the regions’ GP practices, community nursing and urgent care services continue to see high levels of demand and are having to deliver many services with a reduced number of staff due to self-isolation.
A spokesperson for the trust said: “Such is the pressure on local NHS services, that health leaders have once again taken the difficult decision to suspend visiting to adult inpatient wards at South Tyneside District Hospital, Sunderland Royal Hospital and Intermediate Care Assessment and Rehabilitation (ICAR) unit based at Houghton Primary Care Centre in an effort to protect staff and patients at this critical time.
“This will come into effect from Wednesday 14 July.”
They added: “The surge in cases of Covid-19 in hospital has also coincided with a large number of staff having to self-isolate and relentless pressure on the Trust’s Emergency Departments which are seeing well in excess of 600 attendances every single day as well as pressures on GP and primary care services.”
FREEDOM DAY LOOMS
Health bosses are pleading with people to maintain social distancing even after restrictions are due to end on Freedom Day on July 19.
They are urging people in in South Tyneside and Sunderland to keep following “hands, face, space and fresh air” advice to stop the spread of the virus.
Health leaders are reminding the public:
•You must wear a facemask when entering hospitals, GP practices and other healthcare settings
•Please attend all GP and hospital appointments alone where possible
•Please regularly wash your hands and sanitise using gel
•Please maintain a social distance in all healthcare settings
This comes as concerns rise that Freedom Day could still spark a third wave of hospitalisations higher than the second peak.
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The number of people in the UK in ventilation beds with coronavirus has climbed to the highest figures in three months.
A total of 564 admissions were reported on July 13, NHS England figures show.
This is 35 per cent increase from last week, where 417 admissions were recorded on July 7, the highest since April 8 with 421 recorded.