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London hospitals ‘short of 2,000 beds in less than two weeks’

LONDON’S hospitals are on the verge of being overwhelmed by coronavirus, even under the ‘best-case’ scenario, the capital’s medical directors were told.

NHS England London region medical director Vin Diwakar made the prediction in a Zoom call, seen by the Health Service Journal. He said even if the number of Covid patients grew at the four per cent daily ‘lowest’ rate and measures to increase capacity, including opening the Nightingale hospital, succeed, the NHS in London would be short of nearly 2,000 general, acute and intensive care beds by January 19.

Staff say relentless demand is taking a toll on morale. Tori Cooper, a nursing chief at St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south-west London, said: ‘There is very little joy in our work at the moment.’

STAFF working in BBC buildings are being told to wear electronic tags to enforce social distancing. The ‘proximity devices’, worn around the neck, reportedly beep when an employee is less than two metres away from a colleague. There will also be twice-weekly lateral-flow coronavirus tests.