There was little to be optimistic about in the eyes of readers as they reacted to Colin Cox saying that the risk of the NHS being overwhelmed is 'very real' this winter.

The comments, which Mr Cox made during his live question and answer session on Facebook last Tuesday evening, were made in reference to the rapidly rising cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

He said: "There is some hopeful data from South Africa which suggests it might not be as serious an infection as Delta.

"However, we know that it's more transmissible, so if it’s infecting more people, there’s a significant risk it might put a lot of people in hospital at the exact time of year the NHS is already very busy.

"That risk of the NHS being overwhelmed is very real."

He explained that there has been more than 100 probable or confirmed cases in the county since the first case on November 30.

Current data suggests that the rate of cases is doubling every two and a half days.

Here's what you, the readers, had to say.

Mandy Simon Woolley said: "It was going too happen. The government [has been] slow again to do things. [We] have know about this months ago [but we] still have not learnt from all the other lockdowns and it's you lot and the government that are putting the nhs under stress."

Emma Jane said: "Sadly not a lot are listening now. I guess we will either conquer or fall. Time will tell."

John Havenhand said: "Since the late 80s nhs beds and services have been cut now you're paying the price."

In response to a question about whether people should be reconsidering their Christmas plans, Mr Cox said: "I’m going to have my mother and parents-in-law for Christmas this year, however we will make sure we take lateral flow tests before we all come together.

"As long as your gathering is relatively modest, and especially if people have had their boosters, it should be okay."