13/01/2021 07:55 GMT

NHS Considering Moving Hospital Patients To Hotels, Says Matt Hancock

London now has almost 8,000 Covid-19 inpatients, compared to 4,000 on December 25.

Matt Hancock has said the NHS is considering plans to move some patients into hotels to ease pressure on hospitals, as the number of people severely ill with Covid-19 continues to soar.

The health secretary said there are “huge pressures” on the medical services and “we are looking to all different ways that we can relieve” them.

He told Sky News: “We would only ever do that if it was clinically the right thing for somebody. In some cases, people need sit-down care – they don’t actually need to be in hospital bed.

“It isn’t a concrete proposal by any means but it is something that we look at as we look at all contingencies.”

It comes after the NHS medical director for London warned on Tuesday that the capital’s hospitals faced an increasingly dire situation.

Dr Vin Diwakar said London now had almost 8,000 Covid-19 inpatients, compared to 4,000 on December 25.

The number of people who have died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus has risen to 83,203 – an increase of 1,243 over 24 hours.

Separate figures published by the UK’s statistics agencies for deaths where Covid-19 has been mentioned on the death certificate, together with additional data on deaths that have occurred in recent days, show there have now been 99,000 deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK.

The government also said that, as of 9am on Tuesday, another 45,533 people had tested positive for coronavirus in 24 hours.

It brings the total number of cases confirmed by testing to 3,118,518 in the UK since March, but a lack of testing early on, and the fact some cases are asymptomatic, means the true figure is likely to be significantly higher.