Intensive care units back from the brink in England
England’s intensive care units are coming back from the brink, with more than one third of NHS hospital trusts now without a single Covid patient in a critical care bed.
Only 6.6 per cent of critical care beds were occupied by Covid patients on April 20, the latest NHS England data shows – a tenfold fall from the worst days of the second wave in January, when more than 60 per cent of beds were occupied by people with the virus.
Respite from an overwhelming public health crisis comes as the NHS faces an unprecedented treatment backlog after resources were diverted to support virus patients during the pandemic.
At least 23 people died when a fire broke out Sunday in a coronavirus intensive care unit in the capital of Iraq, a country with long-dilapidated health infrastructure facing mounting Covid-19 cases.
The fire started with an explosion caused by “a fault in the storage of oxygen cylinders”, medical sources told AFP.
In the middle of the night, as dozens of relatives were at the bedsides of the 30 patients in the intensive care unit at Ibn al-Khatib hospital – reserved for the most severe Covid-19 cases in Baghdad – flames spread across multiple floors, a source said.
At two anonymous Pfizer buildings, one in the US and one in Belgium, a remarkable experiment is under way. Up to 60 volunteers, all clean-living adults aged between 18 and 60, are being given the first pill specifically designed to stop SARS-CoV-2.