A junior doctor has warned the majority of younger Covid patients being treated in a specialist unit at their hospital are overweight.
Speaking to MyLondon last week, the doctor, who did not wish to be named, warned that coronavirus patients were getting “younger and younger”.
Fewer patients were being directed straight to intensive care than in the first wave, they said, but there was a high proportion of patients in the High Dependency Unit (HDU), where people can receive non-invasive ventilation.
“To a degree things are under control, but it’s a rapidly changing situation,” said the doctor, who is based at a North London hospital.
“More and more wards are becoming Covid wards. Having spoken to people working in HDU, it’s becoming very stressful that people are just so unwell all the time.
“People are younger and younger that are coming in, there are people in HDU in their 30s and 40s. We had one 24-year-old admitted to hospital with Covid recently.
“The main factor in these 30 and 40-year-olds who are really unwell with Covid is that the majority of them are overweight.”
Hospitals have been warning that they are on the verge on being overwhelmed due to a spike of coronavirus cases in the capital.
According to the Mayor of London’s office, the infection rate for all of London is currently 1,007 cases per 100,000 population, based on data from December 31 to January 6.
However, there are signs that the infection rate may be starting to fall in the capital, with the latest figures showing case levels have dropped in more than half of the capital’s boroughs.
Nevertheless, Sadiq Khan and London Councils chair Georgia Gould have written to Boris Johnson asking him to tighten the lockdown rules, after the capital reached the upsetting milestone of 10,000 deaths from coronavirus in its hospitals.
In the letter they state: “The measures we are asking for would need to be kept under regular review, but if they are not introduced as a matter of urgency then we fear that the transmission of the virus will continue to spread across the capital, putting unsustainable strain on our NHS and public services,” the letter read.
“We recognise how difficult these decisions are and how they will impose further tough restrictions on Londoners.
“With new levels of infection remaining high we are left with little choice but to ask that you implement them.”