Covid hospital patient numbers hit five-month high in England

On Wednesday, more than 5,500 people with Covid-19 were in hospital – a jump of 9 per cent from last week, according to PA news agency, and the highest level since mid-March.

More coronavirus patients are currently in hospital in England than at any other time in the last five months, NHS data shows.

But although hospitalisations have begun to climb in recent days, numbers remain low compared to the peaks of the UK’s first and second waves, when fewer people were fully vaccinated.

The highest number of people in hospital with Covid-19 in England at any time during the pandemic was recorded on 18 January 2021 and topped 34,000.

Currently, 5,514 people are in hospital with the virus in England – the most since 16 – with more than 1,000 patients in three different regions: London, the Midlands and the combined region of Yorkshire and the northeast.

All regions are recording a week-on-week rise in hospitalisations, but the largest is in the southeast with an increase of 18 per cent.

Since May, hospitalisations have been rising slowly in England but had levelled off in the last few weeks.

Numbers appear to be climbing more rapidly again following a spike in Covid-19 cases in mid-July. Usually there is a lapse of time between a rise in cases and hospitalisations because of how long it takes for severe symptoms to develop.

On 16 August, 776 people were admitted to hospital in England with Covid-19, the highest number since 27 July (816).

This figure includes both those admitted to hospital with the virus and those who were diagnosed while already in care.

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