London Mayor Sadiq Khan has declared a “major incident” as the spread of the coronavirus threatens to “overwhelm” the capital’s hospitals.
City Hall said the Covid-19 cases in London exceeded 1,000 per 100,000, while 35% more people are hospitalized with the virus than at the height of the pandemic in April.
A “major incident” means that the associated “severity of the consequences” “is likely to limit or hinder the ability of emergency responders to allocate resources and manage the incident”.
Mr Khan has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson asking for more financial support for Londoners who are self-isolating and unable to work, as well as daily vaccination dates.
He also calls for the closure of places of worship and the routine wearing of face masks outside the home, including in crowded places and in supermarket queues.
Mr Khan said: “The situation in London is critical now as the virus is spreading out of control.
“The number of cases in London has grown rapidly and more than a third more patients are being treated in our hospitals compared to the peak of the pandemic last April.
“Our heroic doctors, nurses and NHS staff are doing a great job, but with cases growing so quickly, our hospitals are at risk of being overwhelmed. The dire reality is we won’t have any beds for patients for the next few weeks unless the spread of the virus slows down drastically.
“We are declaring a major incident because the threat this virus poses to our city is in crisis. If we don’t take immediate action now, our NHS could be overwhelmed and more people will die.
“Londoners continue to make great sacrifices, and today I beg them to please stay home unless you absolutely have to go. Stay home to protect yourself, your family, friends and other Londoners and to protect our NHS. “
Between December 30 and January 6, the number of patients in London hospitals increased by 27 percent (from 5,524 to 7,034) and the number of ventilators by 42 percent (from 640 to 908).
In the past three days alone, the NHS has announced 477 deaths in London hospitals after testing positive for Covid-19.
The London Ambulance Service now takes up to 8,000 emergency calls a day, compared to 5,500 on a typical busy day.
Georgia Gould, Chair of the London Councils, said: “It is a dark and difficult time for our city but at the end of the tunnel there is light with the vaccine rollout. We are asking Londoners to come together one last time to stop the spread . ” Lives really depend on it. “
What is a major incident?
A serious incident is an event or situation with a number of serious consequences for which one or more emergency services must take special precautions.
“Emergency Responder Agency” describes all responders of categories 1 and 2 within the meaning of the Civil Contingencies Act (2004) and the associated guidelines.
A serious incident is outside the normal course of business and could cause serious harm, harm, disruption or risk to human life or well-being, essential services, the environment or national security.
A major incident may involve a single agency response, although it is more likely that a multiple agency response will be required, which can take the form of multiple agency assistance to a lead responder.
The severity of the consequences of a major incident may limit or complicate the respondents’ ability to allocate resources and manage the incident, although a major incident is unlikely to affect all respondents equally.
The decision to report a major incident is always made in a specific local and operational context, and there are no precise and universal thresholds or triggers. When LRFs and responders have examined these criteria in the local context and in advance, the decision-makers are better informed and can make this judgment more reliably.
Major incidents were previously reported because of the fire in Grenfell Tower in June 2017, the terrorist attacks on Westminster Bridge and London Bridge, and the crash of the Croydon tram in November 2016.