March 20, 2020 / 4:31 PM / in 9 days

London hospital briefly issues critical alert as cases surge

A paramedic is seen wearing a protective face mask in Cheshunt at the back of an ambulance as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues. in Cheshunt, Britain March 20, 2020. REUTERS/Mark Hartnell

LONDON (Reuters) - A hospital in London briefly declared a “critical incident” on Friday due to shortage of intensive care beds caused by a rise in the number of patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

Northwick Park Hospital in northwest London told staff it did not have enough space for patients needing critical care, several newspapers and broadcasters reported.

“We can confirm that our critical incident status has been stood down,” the hospital said in a statement.

“Critical care capacity for patients with coronavirus is being organised on a cross-London basis so that hospitals and organisations work together to deliver the best possible care for patients and that is what has happened in this case.”

Writing by William Schomberg, editing by Estelle Shirbon and Stephen Addison

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