SOUTH Yorkshire mayor Dan Jarvis has urged people to help the “Herculean efforts” of NHS workers who are “yet again going above and beyond” by getting their Covid-19 vaccinations.
Mr Jarvis also said he was working closely with local leaders and agencies to ensure that “collectively we are doing all we can to get us through this situation” and called on the government to “act urgently”.
He said: “Covid hospitalisations are increasing at an unprecedented rate across our region and have now more than doubled since the week before Christmas.
“This means that our NHS services in South Yorkshire are under immense pressure.
“The number of Covid patients in South Yorkshire's hospitals is now at its highest level since the pandemic began, and over 12 per cent of our NHS workers are either isolating or on sick leave, which is severely impacting on the functionality of our NHS.
“It is deeply concerning that we are facing PCR test shortages whilst the virus is spreading rapidly through our communities.
“Additional resources urgently need to be put into South Yorkshire testing sites to tackle testing kit shortages as well as staff shortages.
“Testing is not only key to reducing the spread of the virus, but it also helps ensure our NHS and frontline workers can keep services running and continue their extraordinarily important work.”
Mr Jarvis said retail, leisure and hospitality businesses were all suffering because of the latest surge.
“Throughout the pandemic, our region has been one of the leading areas in providing additional business support, with the Mayoral Combined Authority and local councils unlocking and distributing over £46 million in grants,” he said.
“We stand ready to provide the same level of support to help businesses and preserve jobs, but we cannot do this if the government will not unlock vital funds. They must act urgently.
“I am working closely with local leaders and agencies to ensure that collectively we are doing all we can to get us through this situation. NHS staff, emergency services, care workers and key workers are yet again going above and beyond, often with limited staff and resources.
“The best thing we can do to support their Herculean efforts is to get our vaccine and booster jabs.
“The evidence shows that if you are vaccinated and boosted, you are less likely to contract the virus and if you do, symptoms are more likely to be mild and less likely to require medical attention.
“I urge everyone to keep up their efforts to keep themselves and others safe, follow guidance on isolating, test where possible, and have the vaccine and booster to protect one another and to ensure our NHS can cope with rising demands.”