The medical lead for Greater Manchester has revealed the increase of coronavirus patients in hospitals in the region.

She revealed that there has been an eightfold increase in the number of patients being admitted to hospitals with the virus in the past five weeks.

Many of these patients are being admitted to intensive care, which is beginning to have an impact on other hospital services, she told a press conference today. 

Dr Jane Eddleston, medical lead in Greater Manchester, has therefore urged the public to “respect” the virus due to the “extremely serious” consequences it has for some patients.

She told a Downing Street press briefing: “The North West has about 40% of all Covid cases at the moment and this is proving very challenging for us.

“Within Greater Manchester, we have seen a threefold increase in the number of patients admitted to intensive care in the last five weeks and an eightfold increase in the number of patients admitted to our hospitals.

“The situation at the moment is that 30% of our critical care beds are taken up with patients with Covid and this is starting to impact on the services we provide for other patients.”

Dr Eddleston added: “I stress to you the importance of us taking this disease extremely seriously.

“We are still finding that a quarter of patients that are admitted to intensive care are still required to go on mechanical ventilator within 24 hours of admission.

"This is very serious.

“The condition produces a very profound inflammation of the lungs which does have serious consequences for patients and I would ask you all to respect the virus and follow the advice we’re being given.”

Later today Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to annouce further lockdown restrictions for the North West.