Downing Street has said Manchester’s hospitals are weeks away from using up all their available intensive care beds if Covid infections continue at their current rate in a bid to ramp up pressure on Andy Burnham to accept Tier 3 restrictions.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman told a group of journalists today that Covid cases in Manchester are expected to double over the next two weeks, which would push the city’s hospitals to the brink.
The spokesman said government projections showed surge capacity in all the region’s hospitals will be exhausted by 12 November, however this does not include the temporary Nightingale hospitals.
Covid cases in Manchester are more than double the national average and the Guardian reported last week that 82 per cent of hospital beds in Greater Manchester are now taken.
Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, is refusing to allow his city to go into Tier 3 restrictions without receiving a substantially greater share of cash for businesses.
The public row has also seen the mayor call out Rishi Sunak for only paying 67 per cent of wages for workers furloughed in tier 3 areas.
Reports in The Telegraph suggested the government was set to give £100m to Burnham to end the row, however Downing Street today poured cold water on the figure.
“I’m not sure where that number came from,” the Prime Minister’s spokesman said.
Burnham told Sky News today that he was not “going to roll over at the sight of a cheque” and immediately allow Greater Manchester to go into Tier 3.