A senior official of Britain's National Health Service (NHS) on Wednesday raised the alarm over the number of people on ventilators in hospital amid a resurge of coronavirus cases in the country.
Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, said the number of coronavirus patients in hospital on ventilation beds had increased by 41 percent in the last week to 227.
It was a strong indication coronavirus was having an impact on health services, she told the BBC.
"Trusts on the frontline are really coming under huge pressure...they have plans in place to tackle the backlog, but with more COVID cases and demand for emergency care going up, that's really challenging."
Cordery said NHS leaders were very concerned about a potential COVID surge that could collide with other winter illnesses such as flu and respiratory viruses later in the year, posing "a significant challenge" to the health system.
"I think we need to look at this sudden rise in the demand for emergency care as well, so you know we are seeing record levels of demand for that kind of care."
Britain has reported another 11,625 coronavirus cases in the latest 24-hour period, the highest since mid-February, according to official figures released Tuesday.
The total number of coronavirus cases in the country stood at 4,651,988.
The latest available data showed the number of patients in hospital at 1,378, similar to early May, still below the peak of 4,077 on Jan. 24.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a four-week delay to the final step of England's roadmap out of COVID-19 restrictions until July 19, amid a surge in cases of the Delta variant first identified in India.
More than 43.1 million people have been given the first jab of the coronavirus vaccine while more than 31.4 million people have been fully vaccinated with a second dose, according to the latest official figures.
Recent data published by Public Health England showed the AstraZeneca vaccine is 92 percent effective against hospitalization from the Delta variant after two doses, and the Pfizer vaccine is 96 percent effective against hospitalisation after two doses.
Experts have warned that coronavirus may continue to evolve for years to come, and eventually it is likely current vaccines will fail to protect against transmission, infection, or even against disease caused by newer variants.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia, the United States as well as the European Union have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.