England's emergency units open 'as normal' again after cyber attack

Accident and emergency units in England were nearly back to normal on Tuesday (May 16), the National Health Service (NHS) said, after the last restrictions put in place following the global cyber attack were lifted.

Britain's National Health Service says accident and emergency services in England are almost back to normal following an unprecedented global ransomware cyberattack. (AFP/Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS)

"Patients are no longer being diverted away from hospital accident and emergency units," Anne Rainsberry, NHS England's national incident director, said in a statement.

"While there is still some disruption in a small number of areas, most patients are being treated as normal," she added.

Dozens of state-run NHS hospitals were hit by a global cyber attack last Friday, many closing their doors to emergency cases and cancelling life-saving operations and routine appointments.

They were among many victims of an indiscriminate global attack that has struck hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide by exploiting known vulnerabilities in older Microsoft computer operating systems.

Many of the almost 8,000 doctors' surgeries in England were also affected, warning of delays as doctors reverted to paper records and appointments.

Several hospitals were still facing disruptions on Monday, with St Bartholomew's in London cancelling appointments and warning of delays to pathology and diagnostic services.

At a hospital in Norfolk, eastern England, staff were told on Monday they could still only view x-rays in one room, while pharmacy services were being restricted as computer systems were upgraded.

The last two hospital diverts put in place following the ransomware cyber attack were lifted in the early afternoon on Tuesday.

Source AFP