England’s largest hospital trust has no coronavirus patients in intensive care for the first time since the pandemic began.
Dr David Rosser, chief executive of the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, also said there were signs infected patients “don’t seem as sick, on average, as they were”.
Birmingham has been England’s hardest-hit local authority area for coronavirus cases, with 3,334 as of Friday. Sheffield is second with 2,648.
Dr Rosser’s disclosure is more positive news after the government also downgraded the coronavirus threat level from four to three on Friday.
However, hundreds of deaths are still being recorded every day: there were 173 announced on Friday.
Dr Rosser said of his trust: “At the peak of the pandemic, for every 43 patients we had in the hospital we had about 10 patients in the ITU.
“So it’s interesting in that we’ve [currently] got 40-odd patients with active COVID in the hospital and none of them need intensive care.
“I don’t think we understand or have the insights into what that is about, but it’s interesting how current patients don’t seem as sick, on average, as they were.
“That may be just a coincidence – it’s all very small numbers.”
He added that “prioritisation” at the peak of the outbreak meant there were “some pretty unpleasant decisions” having to be made on what services can be offered and to whom.
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