Nurses beam behind their masks as ICU ward is EMPTY for first time in months

NURSES have been pictured beaming behind their face masks as they celebrate their intensive care wards empty for the first time in months.

Hattie Nicholls posted the photo of her and a colleague at Manchester Royal Infirmary’s Covid section.

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Her tweet, which has amassed more than 58,000 likes, said: “Manchester Royal’s COVID ICU is empty. Big smiles under the masks!!!”

In the background, the photo shows empty beds.

The newly trained nurse regularly posts on social media about working in the fight against coronavirus, and this one gained huge praise.

Mike Wilson replied: “Splendid news. Thank you to the staff for your hard work and selfless dedication to get to that point.

“Us non-medical people can only guess what you have had to go through.”

Linda responded: “Absolutely fantastic news. Heroes every single one of you. You are all our national treasures.”

Jack wrote: “What a sight. Well done to you and all the staff. Hope you get some relief from the pressure and stress you’ve all been through.”

It comes as:

  • People aged 40 and over in England are now being invited to book their coronavirus jab
  • Two new mutant Covid strains linked with India have been found in the UK, with 400 new cases in total
  • Around 22 million Brits have received a dose of the AstraZeneca jab with a chance of a rare blood clot at just 0.00018 per cent.

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust has 43 Covid patients across its ten hospitals, including the Royal Infirmary. Nine are on ventilation.

At the peak of its capacity, on April 14 2020, there were 427 Covid patients in hospitals and a week later there were 79 on ventilators.

London has 353 Covid inpatients across the whole city compared with 7,917 on January 18.

Looking at the UK broadly, the total number of Covid inpatients (1,553) has dropped by a staggering 96 per cent since January 18 (39,248), the peak of the pandemic. 

At this point the NHS was near to breaking capacity. It had moved to the highest alert level of five on January 4.

This meant it was at significant risk of being overwhelmed and patient care was at risk.

The Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty warned the NHS could collapse if Brits didn’t follow the rules as the third lockdown came into force.

But the vaccination programme – which today was extended to anyone over 40 – has hugely stemmed the wave of Covid patients ending up in hospitals.

The first part of the programme was focused on getting hospital and death numbers down as fast as possible, hence focusing on the elderly. 

With vaccine doses being administered from December 2020, 34 million have now been given to people over the age of 45.

Some 14 millions second doses have also been given.

It means that just over four in five people in England aged 70 and over are fully vaccinated against Covid.



Maximum protection kicks in around three weeks after the second dose.

Despite overwhelmingly positive data, health officials have told Brits with two jabs to carry on with social distancing while the rest of the UK catches up.

Millions under the age of 40 are still yet to get a dose with the target of finishing the first-jab rollout at the end of July. 

It comes as there have been fewer than 600 deaths recorded in April in people who have had a positive Covid test 28 days prior.

That is compared with more than 30,000 deaths over the course of January.

About 22 million people are living in parts of the UK which have not had a single Covid related death in the last month.

Experts say the Covid vaccines – from Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer – have prevented at least 10,000 deaths so far with thousands more expected. 

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust has been contacted for comment.

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