Doctors have reportedly been told unofficially that emergency measures will be needed from October 2.
The temporary hospitals were built to help the NHS services handle the first wave of coronavirus and some are currently aiding the health service by conducting cancer screenings and routine ultrasound tests.
NHS Nightingale Hospitals’s coronavirus wards (pictured, London ExCel) could reopen ‘within weeks’ in preparation for a second wave as coronavirus cases continue to rise across the UK
An NHS England spokesperson reportedly said that Nightingale Hospitals ‘are on Covid standby’. Above, Matt Hancock opens the London ExCel temporarily facility on April 3
An NHS England spokesperson told the Mirror that Nightingale Hospitals ‘are on Covid standby’ in preparations for a potential second wave.
It comes as Boris Johnson’s draconian new ‘rule of six’ is due to kick into force in England on Monday amid fears the reproduction ‘R’ rate could be as high as 1.7.
According to Government advisers, the last time R number was above one was in early March.
As the reproduction rate rises the number of people one infected person could pass the virus onto increases dramatically. Currently those with Covid are infecting an average of nearly two others.
One health consultant told the Sunday Mirror: ‘Plans are in place for Covid wards to be reopened to cope with a fast-rising rate of infections.
‘More people are going back to work, schools are open and more people are socialising in spite of the new restrictions. We have to be ready.’
Britain recorded 3,497 new daily cases of coronavirus yesterday, marking the highest Saturday rise since May.
Britain has recorded 3,497 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours, marking the highest Saturday rise since May, as SAGE warns that England is now on the brink of ‘losing control’ of a new Covid outbreak
Britain recorded 3,497 new daily cases of coronavirus on Saturday and also recorded nine new deaths from the previous 24 hours. The total number of confirmed cases stands at 365,174
Nine more deaths were also recorded in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total number of people who died within 28 days of a positive test for coronavirus to 41,623. The total number of confirmed cases stands at 365,174.
WHERE ARE THE NHS NIGHTINGALE HOSPITALS?
- Birmingham: An NHS Nightingale Hospital was built at the National Exhibition Centre.
- Bristol: A temporarily facility was also built at the Exhibition and Conference Centre on UWE Bristol’s Frenchay campus.
- London: ExCeL London was the first temporary hospital to be announced amid the coronavirus pandemic.
- Manchester: NHS Nightingale Hospital North West was built in Manchester Central Convention Complex at the height of the pandemic.
- Exeter: It was first set to be built in the Westpoint Arena but was instead opened on Sowton Industrial Estate.
- Washington: NHS Nightingale Hospital North East was built in Washington, Tyne and Wear, at the Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing.
- Harrogate: NHS Nightingale Hospital Yorkshire and the Humber was launched at Harrogate Convention Centre.
But despite the surge in cases, the overall prevalence of the virus is still much lower now than it was in March – about 3,000 people were estimated to be getting infected every day this week compared to 100,000 a day six months ago.
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has told people he hopes ‘we can have a proper Christmas’ as new social distancing regulations could see Halloween trick-or-treating and bonfire night celebrations cancelled.
A key SAGE adviser warned yesterday that England could lose control of coronavirus amid ‘worrying’ signs of Covid among middle-aged people, with infections in the over-50s soaring by 92 per cent in a week.
Professor Sir Mark Walport warned the public that England is on the brink of ‘losing control’ of the viral outbreak as he urged people to cut off contact with friends and family.
Experts who have been swabbing tens of thousands of people in England found 13 people per 10,000 were infected between August 22 and September 7, compared to four per 10,000 between July 24 and August 11.
Weekly cases in men aged 60 to 69 rose from 221 to 352 in the past week, an increase of 60 per cent, while among women in the same age group there was a 72 per cent jump from 219 to 376.
Officials said that while the rise in cases was apparent in younger age groups, it was likely to move on to older people, which would be followed by an increase in hospitalisations.
Officials have been pointing the finger at people aged between 17 and 29 for a spike in coronavirus cases as they flock to pubs, bars and restaurants and sometimes fail to abide by social distancing measures.
Boris Johnson’s ‘rule of six’ will start in England on Monday amid fears the reproduction ‘R’ rate could be as high as 1.7. Pictured: Nightingale Hospital at ExCel centre in London
SAGE adviser warned that England could lose control of Covid amid ‘worrying’ signs among middle-aged people. Pictured: medical staff in the ‘clap for carers’ outside the ExCel London
It has also been suggested a ‘rapid acceleration’ in coronavirus cases could be linked to the hugely popular Eat Out to Help Out scheme, an Oxford University researcher has said.
The UK’s national statistician, Professor Sir Ian Diamond, has pleaded with people to be ‘unbelievably vigilant about social distancing’ in order to prevent a second Covid wave.
The public has been warned against having a ‘party weekend’ ahead of rule changes on Monday, when social gatherings in England will be limited to groups of six people both indoors and outdoors, a new restriction dubbed the ‘rule of six’.
But the new social distancing regulations have causes growing discontent as Boris Johnson is still urging people to return to the office and go back to work.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the alleged spike in coronavirus infections justifies the Government’s ‘arbitrary’ new ‘rule of six’, warning people ‘the pandemic is not over’.