Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said that “unless things change unexpectedly” Omicron seemed at a turning point. There were 16,881 coronavirus patients on wards yesterday, including 672 in mechanical ventilation beds. The total had fallen for a second consecutive day and stood at around half the level of the peak in January 2021.
However, the Army was continuing to help out health services up and down the country and Mr Taylor warned there was significant regional variation and uncertainty about how quickly the wave would recede.
He said: “We seem to have peaked, but we need to be careful when thinking about how quickly we can hope for things to return to a more normal situation. We had not even used the word Omicron in a health context seven weeks ago, so we are still learning. We have had false dawns before in this terrible pandemic and we just need to keep watching.”
The UK reported 129,587 Covid cases yesterday and 398 deaths – the highest daily toll since last February. The number of cases last week was down a fifth compared to the previous week, but deaths rose 44 percent in the same period.