Britain struggles to secure hospital beds as COVID-19 rises

The heads of hospitals in England were looking for hospital beds Thursday as the surge in coronavirus cases threatened to overwhelm the system, health care providers and doctors said. A leaked briefing suggested that even in a relatively positive scenario, London hospitals could be congested in less than two weeks. The UK confirmed more than 62,000 new cases in 24 hours on Wednesday, with the number rising rapidly outside the south-east of England, where clusters of a new, highly infectious virus strain were first identified. More than 30,000 people were in UK hospitals with the virus, more than at the height of the first wave. The sharp rise has forced hospital bosses to move some inpatients to nursing home or nursing home beds, said the main providers of the NHS, which represents hospitals in England.