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Professor Jonathan Van-Tam warned there has been a sharp rise in the number of Brits over the age of 65 being admitted to ICU with coronavirus. In the latest chart, it showed a steep increase in admissions for 75 to 84 and 65 to 74. It comes as COVID-19 deaths in the UK have increased by more than 200 in the past 24 hours as the number of new infections soars above 21,000.
He said: “Here are the weekly COVID-19 hospital admission rates by age group.
“You can see a very, very steep increase for 85+, 75 to 84 and 65 to 74.”
Boris Johnson said the Government is looking to review restrictions in care homes to allow people to visit their families.
In response to a question by a member of the public – Vicky from Lancashire, who has only seen her grandmother once since March – Mr Johnson told a press briefing at Downing Street: “We do have to prevent the spread of the virus in care homes; you’ll remember what happened in the early part of the year, so we have had to take some steps to protect elderly residents from the possibility of infection by visitors.
“But we are certainly looking at what we can do to review the circumstances that might allow people to visit their elderly relatives in extreme circumstances and on compassionate grounds.”
Mr Van-Tam added: “This is really extremely distressing, for relatives and for people living in care homes.
“But the unfortunate and horrible truth about this virus is that when it gets into care homes it can inflict really massive mortality very quickly.”
On testing in care homes, he said: “I’m hoping that some of the pilots, with rapid and novel testing methods, will eventually lead to a breakthrough so that we can be more relaxed about visiting residents and our families in care homes in a much safer way.
“For now it is a very difficult situation.”
He noted: “We just can’t afford just to let our elderly die and we can’t afford to allow our NHS to be completely consumed by looking after Covid so it can’t do its other business as usual work.”
More to follow…
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