INTENSIVE care units in hospitals across Greater Manchester are just 16 days from 90 per cent capacity, according to an Oldham MP.

Oldham East and Saddleworth MP, Debbie Abrahams, has revealed that local MPs have been told by the deputy chief medical officer that ICU beds in in the city region are that close to capacity if the current rate of hospital admissions continues.

Ms Abrahams, who was a public health consultant for 20 years before going into politics, said: “We are at war against this virus and the Government’s funding and support needs to be put on a war footing.

“We need to have a national circuit breaker to drive down the virus and enable us to get a grip of the national test and trace programme, run by Serco and other private providers, which has had so many issues since its inception.

“In addition to driving levels of the virus down, the circuit breaker will give time for test and trace to be transferred to local public health teams; but this transfer must be accompanied by a transfer of resourcing from government. This action will allow us to get a hold of the virus.

“Because we’ve had regional inequalities for decades, in conjunction with the national circuit breaker, we need proper financial support for businesses and workers, not the piecemeal that the Chancellor has offered, or these inequalities will get even worse.

“I'm urging the government to listen. I don’t want any of my constituents to get poorly and struggle to get a hospital bed if they need it, or for them to be left destitute if their business goes bust, without adequate financial support.”