Less than half of the NHS staff off sick on New Year’s Eve had coronavirus, official figures reveal.
Fewer than 50,000 of the 110,000 not in work on the day had the virus, the NHS dashboard shows.
The total figure meant one in 10 of the health service’s employees – which amounts to some 983,000 people – were not in hospitals due to illness.
Compared to pre-pandemic levels, it showed a five percentage point rise in the number of people off sick over the period.
The figure was also higher than those off over Boxing Day, when fewer than 25,000 were out of work due to the virus.
The NHS has not revealed what those not suffering from coronavirus were ill with on New Year’s Eve and Boxing Day.
Meanwhile patients faced 40-hour waits at A&E, delayed operations and long waits for ambulances as the health service creaked.
One NHS boss warned operations could start being cancelled from next week if hospitalisations surge and said the country will need to bring in more restrictions.
The chief executive of NHS Providers said ‘the next few days are crucial’ and the health service was under ‘arguably more pressure’ than this time last year.
It comes as the Omicron variant continues to wreak havoc across the country as infections continue to rise, forcing people to lock themselves away for a week.
Read more: Nearly HALF of NHS staff off sick on New Year’s Eve had ‘Covid’. LIARS. They tested positive with a test not testing for it