UK Covid live: Staff absences linked to virus in English hospitals increased by almost 60%, north-west hit hardest | Politics

Hello. As we report in an overnight story, around 200 military personnel are deployed to hospitals in London to help them cope with the aftermath of the Omicron surge.

Air Commodore John Lyle, the officer in charge of the deployment, gave interviews this morning and told BBC Breakfast that similar interventions could take place in other parts of the country. Asked about the likelihood of that happening, he said

We can’t really plan too far ahead but certainly throughout this current push we know it’s particularly difficult in London right now but we are aware that it is impacting the whole of the UK. And so we stay in the discussions and there are a number of areas where we are looking at the potential for more help.

So, over the coming weeks or months, I think we will learn a lot about how progress is being made in London and that additional military support may possibly be required in other areas.

Lyle also pointed out that the armed forces have already deployed around 1,800 people across the UK to help with the Covid response, mainly with the recall program, but also helping the ambulance service.

Here is the program for the day.

9:30 am: ONS publishes new data on the social impacts of Covid.

9:30 am: NHS England is due to publish its situation report for hospitals.

11:30 am: Downing Street is holding a lobby briefing.

12h: ONS publishes its latest investigation into Covid infections.

12:15 p.m .: Welsh Prime Minister Mark Drakeford gives briefing on Covid.

Lunch time: Health Secretary Sajid Javid visits a London hospital.

I will cover the UK Covid developments in this blog today, but for broader coronavirus coverage read our Global Live Blog.

I am trying to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a straightforward question, include “Andrew” somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I try to answer the questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and answer over the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

If you want to get my attention quickly, it’s probably best to use Twitter. I’m on it @AndrewSparrow.

Alternatively, you can email me at


Leave a Comment