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Covid-19 UK: Number of coronavirus patients in English hospitals to highest level in two months

by Ozva Admin

The number of hospital beds in England occupied by Covid-infected patients has risen to its highest level in two months, in another sign of the resurgence of the virus.

The most up-to-date data from England’s NHS shows there were 9,631 infected people in need of treatment as of yesterday. This was 37 percent more than the 7,024 recorded just a week earlier and represents the highest number since August 3.

However, experts have argued that the rise is mainly due to so-called “incidental” cases, in which patients are admitted for another illness, such as a broken leg or heart attack, and then test positive.

The number of patients exceeded 14,000 in mid-July at the peak of the wave of infections caused by the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the virus.

They had been falling steadily until mid-September, but have since started rising again, leading some to declare that it was the start of the inevitable winter wave.

A total of 9,631 people with coronavirus were in hospital as of 8 a.m. on Oct. 5, according to NHS England.  This is up 37 percent from the previous week's 7,024 and is the highest figure since August 3.  The graph shows: Number of Covid patients in hospital (blue line) compared to the number there mainly due to the virus (red line)

A total of 9,631 people with coronavirus were in hospital as of 8 a.m. on Oct. 5, according to NHS England. This is up 37 percent from the previous week’s 7,024 and is the highest figure since August 3. The graph shows: Number of Covid patients in hospital (blue line) compared to the number there mainly due to the virus (red line)

Sites in East Suffolk, Essex and Gloucestershire now require all visitors to wear covers when in their hospitals.  Some are also telling patients to wear masks and reimposing social distancing guidelines, in scenes reminiscent of the early days of the pandemic.

Sites in East Suffolk, Essex and Gloucestershire now require all visitors to wear covers when in their hospitals. Some are also telling patients to wear masks and reimposing social distancing guidelines, in scenes reminiscent of the early days of the pandemic.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows Covid infections in England rose by more than a tenth to 857,400 in the week to September 20.

The latest data from the Office for National Statistics shows Covid infections in England rose by more than a tenth to 857,400 in the week to September 20.

Return of the mask! NHS hopes to bring back face coverings

At least five NHS trusts in England have brought back mask requirements due to the resurgence of Covid, the MailOnline can reveal.

Sites in Suffolk, Essex and Gloucestershire now require all visitors to wear a face covering when in their hospitals.

Some are also asking patients to wear masks and reimposing social distancing guidelines, in scenes reminiscent of the early days of the pandemic.

Although liners have been doomed to history in everyday life, trust chiefs have argued that hospitals ‘are not the same as a supermarket or a restaurant’.

The patients on the wards already tend to be very unwell, meaning they are particularly vulnerable to the brutal effects of Covid and other respiratory infections.

Stricter rules, including visitor bans, could be introduced in the coming weeks if virus rates and admissions continue to trend upward, health chiefs have hinted.

Ministers have not hinted that a return of pandemic-era restrictions is on the horizon, even as cases rise.

But some academics have already called for a widespread return of masks in public places, to thwart the spread of the virus this winter.

The MailOnline revealed yesterday that at least five hospital trusts in Suffolk, Essex and Gloucestershire have brought back face mask requirements due to the increase. Others have even reimposed social distancing guidelines, in scenes reminiscent of the early days of the pandemic.

Stricter rules, including visitor bans, could be introduced in the coming weeks if virus rates and admissions continue to trend upward, health chiefs have hinted.

Others have dismissed the alarmism about the recent spike in cases.

They say the current wave was inevitable due to declining immunity among the population, increased indoor commingling in colder months and a rise in cases among schoolchildren after they returned to classrooms last month.

And despite the increase in hospital admissions, only four in 10 covid patients were admitted mainly because they were unwell with the virus.

Most are those who have tested positive for the virus but are receiving NHS care for another ailment, such as a broken leg.

Coronavirus hospital data is currently released once a week on Thursdays.

The latest figures show that all regions are seeing a steady increase in patients, with three regions back to levels last seen in late July.

The South West of England currently has 1,003 patients who have tested positive for Covid, not far below its peak during the BA.4/BA.5 wave of 1,229.

The south east of England has 1,553 patients, compared to its summer peak of 1985, while the east of England has 1,064, compared to a summer peak of 1,432.

Chart shows: Total number of hospital patients with Covid in England each day until 26th September

Chart shows: Total number of hospital patients with Covid in England each day until 26th September

Chart shows: Total number of Covid patients admitted to hospitals in England each day until 26 September

Chart shows: Total number of Covid patients admitted to hospitals in England each day until 26 September

Chart shows: Total number of Covid patients on ventilation beds in hospitals in England each day until 26 September

Chart shows: Total number of Covid patients on ventilation beds in hospitals in England each day until 26 September

However, all the figures are still well below those achieved during the first waves of the pandemic.

Although two-thirds of Covid patients at the hospital are being treated primarily for something else, they still need to isolate, putting additional pressure on staff already struggling to clear a record treatment backlog.

The experts stated that the high proportion of incidents is due to transmission in hospitals and, in general, to the increase in covid cases in the community.

Professor Christina Pagel, a mathematician at University College London and a member of the Independent Sage, said on Twitter: ‘Hospital admissions continue to rise in England: a 33 per cent rise from last week. Daily admissions are well over 1,000 a day.

‘Increasing in all regions, but fastest in the East of England, North East and South East. South West remains high and London the lowest by far. I’m not sure why.

“Both admissions directly due to Covid and where Covid is a secondary problem are increasing rapidly, but incidental admissions more so.

‘A sign of rapid community spread and high hospital transmission.’

Figures released last week by the Office for National Statistics suggested infections are on an upward trend in England.

The number of people in private households who tested positive for coronavirus in the week to Sept. 17 was 857,400, or about one in 65, up from 766,500, or one in 70, in the seven days to Sept. 14. September.

Infections in England peaked at 3.1 million during the BA.4/BA.5 summer wave.

Boris Johnson’s government lifted all remaining pandemic restrictions in the spring as successful vaccine launches and high immunity in the population meant the UK could “learn to live with Covid and end government regulation”.

The former prime minister said the government can re-impose measures if a new variant emerges that puts “unsustainable pressure” on the NHS.

However, the UK has remained lockdown-free ever since, despite two further Covid spikes, and new Prime Minister Liz Truss has said she would not impose a lockdown.

He called the restrictions imposed by Johnson, including three lockdowns, school closures and work-from-home measures, “draconian” and said the government “did too much”.

In previous lockdowns, the threat of unsustainable pressure on the NHS was the key metric used to decide whether the restriction was required.

Health chiefs hope the autumn Covid booster campaign, targeting 26 million people over 50, at-risk groups and care and health staff, will temper the impact of the wave on the already crippled health service.

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