Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has declared a “major incident” in the capital due to rising coronavirus cases threatening to overwhelm hospitals.
City Hall said growing infection rates are “putting immense pressure on an already stretched NHS”.
The number of people on mechanical ventilators has risen by 42% – from 640 to 908 – in the week up to 6 January.
More than 800 patients a day are being admitted to London hospitals with COVID-19, the chief executive of NHS England, Sir Simon Stevens, warned at a Downing Street briefing on Thursday.
“That’s the equivalent of a new St Thomas’ hospital, full of COVID patients every day,” he said.