“It’s not hyperbole to say that the (National Health Service) is going through probably the toughest time in living memory,″ said Siva Anandaciva, chief analyst of the King’s Fund, a U.K. think tank that focuses on health and social care.
Johnson and Sturgeon said the restrictions were needed to protect the hard-pressed National Health Service as a new, more contagious variant of coronavirus sweeps across Britain.
On Monday, hospitals in England were treating 26,626 COVID-19 patients, 40% more than during the first peak in mid-April.
In December, a record 2,930 people were forced to wait 12 hours or more before hospitals could find beds for them, the Health Service Journal reported Monday, citing leaked figures from the National Health Service.
In addition to a nationwide network of hospitals, doctors and nurses, it can rely on other allied health care professionals, such as pharmacists, to deliver the vaccine.