There are nearly 170 coronavirus patients currently being treated in King's Colledge and the Princess Royal Hospital as London sees a surge in positives Covid cases. 

The rise in numbers has made doctors brace for another "difficult" Christmas as they treat the rising numbers of Covid patients in hospitals, whilst facing staff absents. 

South-East London's, King's College Hospital, staff have said they are holding out hope that they will avoid a huge surge of admission before Christmas day. 

The news comes as Omicron cases spread through the capital, which has also seen staff shortages in hospitals due to Covid-related absences. 

Professor Clive Kay, chief executive of King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, has said that over 600 staff of 14,000 are off sick due to Covid absences which includes Kings College Hospital, Princess Royal University Hospital in Bromley, Orpington Hosptial, Beckenham Beacon, and Queen Mary's Hospital. 

Just at King's College and Princess Royal over 170 coronavirus patients are being treated, compared to the 60 patients at the end of November. 

Overall, 102 patients are in general bed and 18 are in critical care at King's, whilst 45 patients are in general and three are in critical at Princess Royal. 

During its peak in the second wave last January, the trust was treating 776 Covid-patients. 

Further figures from NHS England show that 1,904 people were in hospital in London with Covid-19 as of December 21. 

Meaning that it is currently far below the second wave peak, that saw 7,917 patients in hospital on January 18.