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UK coronavirus cases surpass 3 million as death toll exceeds 80,000 | News on the coronavirus pandemic

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COVID-19 infections and associated deaths are reaching dark stages amid increasing risk of UK hospitals overflowing.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases recorded in the UK has now surpassed three million, as the human cost of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rise amid mounting fears about new, rapidly spreading variants of the virus.

British authorities on Saturday announced 59,937 new infections and 1,035 related deaths, bringing the total death toll to 80,868 – one of the highest in Europe, alongside Italy.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed a third stay-at-home order earlier this week as alarm grew that hospitals could be overwhelmed, while Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said on Friday a “major incidentIn the capital and said the spread of COVID-19 was “out of control”.

Reporting from London, Al Jazeera’s Neave Barker described the situation as “extremely bad”.

“Before the majority of the population receives the vaccine, there could be a significant impact on how hospitals are able to cope… [as well as] the death toll and the infection rate, ”he said.

To date, more than 1.5 million people in the UK have received injections of the coronavirus, with the elderly, their caregivers and health workers being prioritized in the vaccination campaign.

The government has launched a new public awareness campaign to get people to better comply with coronavirus restrictions, Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty appearing in a video ad urging people to stay home as much as possible, to protect the National Health Service (NHS) and save lives.

Citizens are also encouraged not to be complacent and to act as if they are carriers of the virus, otherwise people around them could get COVID-19.

Medical workers transfer patient from ambulance to Royal London Hospital [Simon Dawson/Reuters]

Last week, the government announced what is now the third nationwide lockdown as it battles a new, more contagious variant of the coronavirus which has swept across Britain.

The outbreak of infection threatens to overwhelm hospitals, putting more pressure on doctors and nurses who are already tired after almost a year of the pandemic.

“We hear about people being treated in ambulances and parking lots outside the hospital because there is no room inside to bring people,” said Dr Tom Dolphin, anesthesiologist. from the hospital and spokesperson for the British Medical Association Council. “We’re getting to the point where we’re struggling to maintain basic standards in some hospitals.”

The number of COVID-19 patients treated at London hospital increased by almost a third in the first week of January alone, and the number of artificially ventilated patients increased by more than 40%, according to Khan.

Hundreds of firefighters came to the aid of the health service to drive ambulances.

Meanwhile, British Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip were among those to be vaccinated on Saturday. It is understood that the monarch decided that the information should be made public to avoid inaccuracies and speculation.

The UK is counting on the deployment of the Pfizer / BioNTech and Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccines to stop the spread of the virus.

Regulators across the country also this week approved the vaccine from US company Moderna – the third to be cleared for use.

The government intends to have vaccinated 15 million of the most vulnerable groups – including frontline NHS staff – by mid-February, and has deployed armed forces to help with the deployment.



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