Covid hospital admissions in England up by 26% as UK cases soar

Covid-19 admissions in the northeast and Yorkshire up by more than 50 per cent, new data shows

Rebecca Thomas
Health Correspondent
Friday 18 March 2022 19:05
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<p>One in 20 people – 2.7 million – in the week up to 12 March had Covid in England</p>

One in 20 people – 2.7 million – in the week up to 12 March had Covid in England

Hospitals in England are facing major pressure due to Covid-19 admissions, with a further 552,198 positive tests sending UK infections soaring by 38 per cent compared to the previous week and hitting record highs in Scotland.

Covid admissions to hospitals across England were up by 26 per cent in the week leading up to 16 March compared to the seven days prior, according to the latest data.

Admissions in the northeast and Yorkshire have risen rapidly by more than 52 per cent in just seven days, while the southeast and southwest saw increases of 24 and 25 per cent respectively.

London Covid admissions were up by 23 per cent, the east of England up by 17 per cent and the northwest increased by 19 per cent.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics on Friday revealed one in 20 people – 2.7 million – in the week up to 12 March had Covid in England, while infections in Scotland have increased for seven weeks in a row and have hit a new record high of 376,300.

On Friday The Independent revealed Northern Devon Healthcare Trust has declared two critical incidents in the last two weeks, the most recent one coming on Monday.

The trust warned it was facing “significant bed pressures” at two of its hospitals – North Devon District Hospital and South Molton Community Hospital – and on Monday it did not have enough beds to admit emergency patients.

The pressures were being felt across other hospitals in Devon according to healthcare leaders, who warned the level of Covid positive patients is a significant issue as it leads to the closure of wards and means beds are not available for emergency patients.

The latest data published by NHS England showed there were 11,059 admissions to hospital of patients who tested positive for Covid-19 in the seven days up to Friday 18 March, compared to 8,768 in the seven days prior. The last time levels reached this height was on 5 February.

In Wales, the estimate of Covid infections is up from 97,900 people, or one in 30, to 125,400 people, or one in 25.

The ONS described the trend in Northern Ireland as “uncertain”, with 130,600 people likely to have had Covid last week.

Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the ZOE Covid study, warned: “Covid cases are now at the highest levels the ZOE Covid study has ever recorded. Even more concerning is the rise in new cases in people aged over 75. This vulnerable group have had low case numbers for months.

“We will need to wait a few weeks to see the full impact on increased hospitalisation but numbers have already started to rise.”

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