HOSPITALS in Greater Manchester are set to run out of beds for coronavirus patients, a leaked NHS document has revealed.
A number of the regions 12 hospitals are already full with wards in Salford, Stockport and Bolton at maximum capacity.
The hospital crisis comes as Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham is locked in a ferocious battle with Boris Johnson over the area being plunged into a Tier Three lockdown.
In a blistering attack on Friday the PM accused Mr Burnham of shirking his responsibility and warned he would “intervene” if the Labour mayor continued to deny the restrictions.
But the troubling NHS document suggests that Greater Manchester’s hospitals will soon become overwhelmed by patients needing emergency Covid care to save their lives, the Guardian reports.
Figures showed that by Friday 211 of the 257 critical care beds in Greater Manchester were being used for Covid patients or those critically ill from another illness.
This equates to 82 per cent of the region’s total supply of hospital beds.
While there were 110 people admitted to hospitals in Greater Manchester with confirmed of suspected cases of Covid in 24 hours before NHS bosses were handed the document on Friday.
Those figures took the number of covid infections hospitals were treating to 520.
Downing Street wants to plunge Greater Manchester into Tier 3 – the strictest lockdown conditions – meaning that pubs and bars will be closed unless they serve meals and households are banned from mixing indoors and in gardens.
Lancashire joined the Liverpool region in entering Tier Three on Saturday.
The PM has been under increased pressure to accept a short national lockdown known as a “circuit-breaker” to get a grip on the resurgence of Covid-19.
But Mr Burnham, and all 10 Greater Manchester council leaders, said they were not “convinced closing hospitality venues is the only way to protect hospitals”.
He wants an 80 per cent furlough scheme for all affected workers, 80 per cent income support for the self-employed and a proper compensation scheme for businesses in the event of Tier Three.
But so far the government has refused to give in to his demands.
I want them to put aside for a moment some of the political positioning that they’ve indulged in.
Michael Gove MP
Today senior Cabinet Minister Michael Gove slammed the Labour mayor for refusing to sign up for a tougher lockdown and accused him of “posturing” while Brits are dying.
Mr Gove told Sky’s Sophy Ridge: “I want them to put aside for a moment some of the political positioning that they’ve indulged in.
“And I want them to work with us in order to ensure that we save lives and protect the NHS.”
But Mr Burnham hit back by accusing the government of trying to spook Greater Manchester into locking down by “exaggerating” how bad Covid was in the area.
He said: “A punishing lockdown without support, trapping places in Tier 3 all winter, I think will cause real harm to health in the broadest possible sense.”
‘MATTER OF CONCERN’
He said there are 62 people in intensive care beds with Covid in Greater Manchester – far below the 200 during the first peak in April.
He said the numbers are a “matter of concern” but the region is “in a different position” to the first Covid wave.
He added: “It’s a serious situation but I don’t think it was the situation that was described by the prime minister on Friday evening.”
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On Friday, Mr Johnson said he understood the mayor’s reluctance to go into the “very high” tier but said the situation was “grave” and “worsens with each passing day.”
The PM warned: “Cases doubled in the last 9 days. High infection rates are creeping up the age range: while cases are 690 per 100,000 for 16-29 year olds, they have now risen to 224 per 100,000 for the over-60s.”
According to government stats, there were 1,853 new infections reported on Monday 12 October – a 34 per cent increase from 1,210 on Saturday 3 October.