MANCHESTER'S Nightingale hospital is set to reopen next week to deal with the surge of coronavirus cases in the North.
The city will be plunged into Tier 3 lockdown this week after infection rates across the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester all rose over 200 per 100,000 of the population.
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According to the the latest figures for the city, there are 95 patients in critical care with Covid-19 compared to 260 at the peak of the pandemic.
At a media briefing on Thursday, medical director of the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust Professor Jane Eddleston confirmed the facility at the Manchester Central conference centre would be opening again.
She said: "We will be opening the Nightingale, we expect that to be towards the end of next week.
"The Nightingale will not be used as a critical care facility and neither was it in the first phase, it will be used as a facility for patients to have additional rehabilitation."
She said it would be available for use by patients from around the North West.
Greater Manchester is going to go into Tier 3 restrictions on Friday following a rise in infections.
The region's mayor Andy Burnham clashed with the government over the decision, recently bashing the Westminster Government for having a "powerful centre which is not treating places equally" after walking away from a £60million deal from Boris Johnson to help businesses in Manchester cope with Tier 3 restrictions.
Mr Johnson vowed yesterday that the city would be given that money, despite the Mayor blowing up funding talks by refusing to accept less than £65million.
Meanwhile hospitals in Liverpool are now treating more coronavirus patients than they were at the peak of the first wave.
Liverpool now has the third highest infection rate in the country according to the latest figures, although the numbers are dropping.
In the seven days up until October 17 there were 2,970 recorded new cases, meaning a rate of 596.3 cases per 100,000 people, down from 691.7.
And it was revealed the region's three main hospitals were currently treating 398 people with coronavirus – higher than the 390 during their busiest day during the first peak.
In the fight against coronavirus, Stoke and Coventry will be plunged into a Tier 2 lockdown after a “rapid rise” in cases, it was announced today.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it "would be catastrophic" to let Covid-19 "unleash its full force".
During a Commons debate on Covid-19, he said: "I reject the false choice that says we must pick a side and choose between a healthy economy and a healthy nation, because the two are intrinsically linked.
"If we were to, God forbid, let the virus unleash its full force, then the damage not just to the NHS – and hundreds of thousands of lives – but to our livelihoods too would be catastrophic."
On long Covid, Mr Hancock said: "We have already seen worrying numbers of young, fit, healthy people suffering debilitating symptoms months after contracting Covid.
"Yesterday, a study by King's College London showed that one in 20 people with coronavirus is likely to have virus symptoms like fatigue, breathlessness, muscle pain and neurological problems for eight weeks or more."
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