Fewer Covid cases in UK hospitals indicate latest wave is peaking

Total number of Covid-19 patients falls for nine days in a row

Covid-19 patient numbers have been rising since mid-September, but the trend looks to have come to a halt in mid-October. PA
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The number of Covid-19 patients in hospital in England is starting to fall, indicating the latest wave of the disease may have peaked.

There were 9,131 patients who tested positive for coronavirus in hospital as of 8am on October 26, NHS England reported.

This is down 12 per cent — from 10,387 patients — a week earlier. Two weeks ago, hospital cases were rising, particularly among older people, prompting concern over how far the wave would reach.

Patient numbers have been rising since mid-September, but the trend looks to have come to a halt in mid-October.

The total number of patients has fallen for nine days in a row.

Covid-19 hospital data is published every Thursday, so it may take another week or two before there is evidence of a steady downwards trend.

Patient numbers topped 14,000 in mid-July of this year at the peak of the wave of infections caused by the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the virus.

That was well below the levels seen during the early waves of the pandemic.

About two thirds of patients in hospital who test positive for Covid-19 are being treated primarily for something else, but they need to be isolated from those who do not have the virus, putting extra demands on staff already struggling to clear a record backlog of treatment.

Figures published last week by the Office for National Statistics showed that infections were still rising in England earlier this month, though the rate of increase was slowing.

The number of people in private households testing positive for coronavirus in the week to October 10 was 1.7 million, or about one in 30 — up from 1.5 million, or one in 35, the previous week.

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

Two weeks, ago, Covid-19 infections in the UK had risen by 31 per cent — the biggest jump since June.

The number of older people catching Covid was also rising and there was a higher rate of hospital admissions among the elderly.

Updated: October 27, 2022, 3:24 PM
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