Peterborough hospital boss says Omicron threat is ‘grave’ while city health director urges residents to stick to rules in run up to Christmas

The chief executive officer of the trust which runs Peterborough City Hospital has described the threat posed by the Omicron variant as ‘grave’ and said ‘it is clear we will need to go further in order to prevent the spread of infection.’

By Stephen Briggs
Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 5:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th December 2021, 6:40 am
Peterborough City Hospital.

So far there have been no confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in Peterborough - although there are a number of suspected cases.

Phil Walmsley, Chief Operating Officer at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Peterborough City, Hinchingbrooke and Stamford & Rutland Hospitals also paid tribute to all the staff at the hospitals working to deal COVID.

He said: “Every winter is a challenge for our hospitals and we see a rise in winter illnesses both in our patients and also the local communities we serve. We have been dealing with, and learning to cope with Covid-19 for almost two years now but the emergence of the Omicron variant does add further complication to this.

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“Our NHS colleagues throughout the region have been working incredibly hard to deliver Covid vaccines as swiftly as possible but the threat posed by Omicron is grave and it is clear we will need to go further in order to prevent the spread of infection.

“Therefore, the best way to support your local hospital this winter is by going and getting your booster vaccine jab and by continuing to be sensible and cautious when mixing with others.”

Director of Public Health for Peterborough City Council, Jyoti Atri, said it was vital people stuck to the latest COVID rules in the run up to Christmas. She said: “We have no confirmed Omicron cases in Peterborough, but like other areas nationally there are suspected cases of Omicron locally.

“We continue to work closely with NHS Test and Trace to provide advice to those people who may have the Omicron variant of COVID and who are self-isolating while they wait for their results. This shows how important it is for people to test if they have symptoms, or before they meet up with others to try and break the chain of infection.

“We are waiting for proper scientific evidence about how much protection the current vaccines offer against this variant, if it is more transmissible or has a worse effect on people than the current variants.

“Our area remains an Enhanced Response Area because of high levels of the more prevalent Delta variant, and some areas of low vaccination uptake. As we already know how effective the vaccines are against this more usual variant, I would urge everyone again who is eligible but hasn’t already had their vaccinations for COVID or Flu to do so.

“And also to do all they can to continue to follow clear public health advice on wearing face coverings, meeting with others in well ventilated spaces, socially distancing and washing their hands.”