Video report by ITV News Health Editor Emily Morgan
Hospitals in Liverpool are now treating more patients with Covid-19 than it was at the peak of the first wave of coronavirus in April, the health secretary has confirmed.
Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Trust medical director Dr Tristan Cope first issued the stark warning on Twitter on Thursday adding: "Numbers continue to rise".
Later the same day, Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed the figures in the House of Commons warning too that "the virus continues to spread" across the UK.
Mr Hancock told MPs: "Across the UK the number of deaths have doubled in under a fortnight."
The Liverpool City Region is currently in the "very high" Covid alert system under Tier 3 restrictions, meaning pubs and restaurants have been forced to close and people living in different households cannot meet indoors or in private gardens.
It was the first area in England to go into the highest alert level.
ITV News Health Correspondent Emily Morgan says things are not looking good for hospital admissions
Liverpool 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.
Writing on Twitter, Dr Tristan Cope said: "Sadly we are now treating more patients in hospital with Covid-19 @LivHospitals than we did in April at the peak of the first wave and numbers continue to rise.
"So important that people in #liverpool and @LivCityRegion adhere to social distancing restrictions."
Dr Cope warned staff at the NHS Trust were increasingly under "huge strain" due to the demands on the service.
He wrote: "Treating so many Covid patients in addition to usual acute and emergency care of patients with non-Covid conditions puts a huge strain on @LivHospitals staff."
Chief nurse of the hospitals trust Dianne Brown echoed a similar warning, writing on Twitter: "As Covid rates @LivHospitals exceed the number back in April, need to recognise the impact this is having on our staff.
"Thank you to each and everyone of you, it is mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting – you are doing an amazing job."
A city council leader had previously warned Liverpool’s intensive care units were more than 90% full.
Speaking earlier in October, Paul Brant - cabinet member for adult health and social care - warned the city soon expected to reach levels of bed occupancy seen during the first wave of coronavirus.