Number of Britons hospitalised with coronavirus soars 25% in a DAY

Number of Britons hospitalised with coronavirus soars 25% in a DAY

October 7, 2020

Number of Covid-19 hospital admissions in England soars 25% in a DAY – but medics are saving more people then ever

  • NHS statistics show there were 478 new hospital admissions in England on Sunday — the most recent figure
  • In comparison, the figure for Saturday was 386, according to data published on the government’s dashboard
  • It also represents a four-month high, the likes of which have not been seen since June 3, when it was 491 
  • Data also revealed the number of people on ventilators is on the rise, from 259 a week ago to 349 on Sunday 

The number of Covid-19 hospital admissions in England has soared by 25 per cent in a day, government data has revealed.

In another blow to hopes the virus is being brought under control, NHS figures show there were 478 new hospital admissions in England on Sunday — the most recent day figures are available for. For comparison, the figure for Saturday was 386. 

It also represents a four-month high, the likes of which have not been seen since June 3, when it was 491. Data also revealed the number of people on ventilators is on the rise, from 259 a week ago to 349 on Sunday.

But while hospital admissions have increased, figures show hospital admission figures are still low in some areas, such as the south of England. And the number of people dying in hospital of the virus remains much lower than at the start of the pandemic.   

On October 2, the latest date with hospital figures for the whole of the UK, there were 2,481 patients with Covid-19. However the number of deaths over the same period was 33 – equivalent to 1.3 per cent. On March 21, two days before the country went into lockdown, there were three hundred less people, but 131 deaths – 6.3 per cent death rate.

Improvements in treatment and a greater protection of the most vulnerable have been suggested as two major factors.

The latest surging statistics come as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the UK, with 14,542 new cases recorded yesterday — meaning the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 every day has tripled in a fortnight.

Last Tuesday’s data, which would normally be used to measure how much the UK’s outbreak has grown in the last week, is unreliable due to a catastrophic counting error at Public Health England. It means Tuesday September 22 is the most recent point of reference — there were just 4,926 cases on that date.

The extraordinary meltdown — caused by an Excel problem in outdated software at PHE — meant almost 16,000 cases went missing between September 25 and October 2, meaning the scale of the escalating crisis was vastly underestimated last week. 

Health chiefs recorded 12,594 coronavirus cases the day before, which was also triple the figure of 4,368 recorded a fortnight earlier. The rolling seven-day average of daily cases — considered a more accurate measure because it takes into account day-to-day fluctuations — has also risen by a similar amount over the same time frame.

Another 76 coronavirus deaths were also recorded yesterday, up 7 per cent on last week’s 71 fatalities and more than double the number of victims posted the Tuesday before, when there were 35. Data also shows the rolling seven-day average number of daily deaths is 53, up from a record-low of seven in mid-August.

Although the curves are clearly trending the wrong way, the number of Covid-19 deaths and infections are still a far-cry from levels seen during the darkest days of the pandemic in spring, when more than 1,000 patients were dying and at least 100,000 Britons were catching the disease every day. 

Official NHS data shows there were 478 new hospital admissions in England on Sunday – the most recent day figures are available for. The figure is 25 per cent increase on Saturday’s data, when 386 people were admitted the hospital with Covid-19. It also represents a four-month high, the likes of which have not been seen since June 3, when the figure was 491.

Government data shows that the North West and North East and Yorkshire are the only regions to have seen a sustained and sharp increase in people being admitted to hospital (line graphs show daily hospital admissions between April and October). All regions saw a rise in cases, hospitalisations and deaths in September as people returned to offices and schools after the summer, but across most of the country these have since come under control

The spiralling statistics come amid fears the UK could face draconian new lockdown measures within days under plans for a local ‘Covid alert’ system. Health Secretary Matt Hancock is expected to unveil details of the three-tier set-up as early as Thursday in an attempt to make the existing patchwork of restrictions easier to understand.   

Government sources said the top tier would include tougher restrictions than those currently applied to millions of people living across the North and Midlands. A planned ‘traffic light’ system of measures will be redesigned after PHE’s Excel bungle revealed that the virus was spreading much faster than previously thought in cities like Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield. Ministers will meet in the coming days to thrash out exactly how far to go.

Cities including Sheffield, Oxford and Nottingham are seemingly at risk of harsher restrictions as Boris Johnson tries to get a grip on local flare-ups. Options include the closure of pubs, restaurants and cinemas, a ban on social mixing outside household groups, and restrictions on overnight stays. Sources refused to rule out the possibility that some towns and cities could be placed immediately into the top tier, despite the fact that death rates remain low.  

Meanwhile, separate official statistics show the UK’s coronavirus death toll has spiked for the third week in a row. Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) — a Government-run agency — revealed there were 215 victims in the week ending September 25 in England and Wales, up 55 per cent on the 139 deaths recorded the previous week and more than double the 99 posted a fortnight ago.  

But, despite the climbing death toll, analysis shows the numbers of people being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 have levelled off in huge areas of England as data suggests the country is being dragged into panic by an out-of-control outbreak in the north. 

In London, the South East and the South West – home to around half of the country’s population of 55million – daily admissions appear to be plateauing after rising in line with cases during September from a low point over the summer. However, admissions are still accelerating in the North West, North East and Yorkshire, where new local lockdowns are springing up every week and positive tests are spiralling to record numbers. 

Britain has recorded 14,542 more coronavirus cases as the number of people testing positive for the virus every day triples in a fortnight

Another 76 deaths were also recorded today which is more than double the number of victims posted last Tuesday, when there were 35 fatalities

Coronavirus cases in Scotland have been rising sharply since the beginning of September and Nicola Sturgeon has refused to rule out closing pubs and restaurants in hotspot areas or banning people from leaving cities and towns with high infection rates

How do regional outbreaks compare to a fortnight ago? 

Almost every region in the UK has seen coronavirus cases spiral in the last fortnight, Department of Health data shows.

Like today, the North West recorded the highest number of infections on September 22, logging 1,896 positives from samples taken that day. For comparison, today it reported 4,441 cases — but not all of these occurred in the last 24 hours. The exact amount of infections that occurred today won’t be known for at least five days because of a recording lag. The most recent up-to-date specimen date figure for the North West was 3,303 on October 1.

Despite recording fewer cases on both dates, Yorkshire and the Humber has suffered one of the highest increases over the same period. The region had 721 infections two weeks ago but logged 2,437 today – a rise of 238 per cent.

Only Northern Ireland has experienced a steeper rise in cases than Yorkshire, though total cases are still relatively low. Some 176 people tested positive on September 22 compared to 669 today – a rise of 280 per cent.

Meanwhile, the rate at which the outbreak in the West Midlands is growing is somewhat slower than most parts of the UK.

The region had 611 new positive tests on September 22, compared to 1,059 today, a rise of 73 per cent, one of the smallest jumps in that time. Only Wales has seen a less incremental rise (12 per cent).

London and the North East of England were experiencing similar levels of infection on September 22, with 540 and 538 cases, respectively. But the North East has overtaken the capital in the 14 days since, suffering 1,233 cases today compared to London’s 916.

The South East and South West – which have been relatively unscathed during the crisis – are both seeing case rates more than double. The former recorded 285 infections on September 22 and 659 today, while the latter saw cases climb from 161 to 401.

A similar picture is playing out in Scotland, where infections have risen from 497 to 800 in a fortnight.

REGION

East Midlands

East of England 

London 

North East 

North West 

South East 

South West

West Midlands 

Yorks & the Humber

Scotland 

Wales 

Northern Ireland 

CASES TODAY/SEP 22

888/286

492/218

916/540

1,233/538

4,441/1,896

659/285

401/161

1,059/611

2,437/721 

800/497

425/379

669/176 

The Department of Health says there was 14,542 cases reported today. Health chiefs have yet to reveal exactly when these cases were diagnosed but most will have occurred in the past four days.

The figures for September 22 are based on specimen date, which is how many coronavirus samples taken on that day came back as positive. Specimen date figures lag by around five days because of a delay in analysing tests. National specimen date data shows around 13,000 cases are currently being spotted each day.

In other coronavirus developments today:

  • Health Secretary Matt Hancock was hounded for claiming cancer patients will only be guaranteed treatment if Covid-19 stays ‘under control’;
  • Covid-19 deaths in England and Wales spiked by 55% with 215 victims last week – but are still only a fraction of the 8,800 recorded during the darkest seven-day spell of the crisis in April and account for just 2 per cent of fatalities from all causes;
  • Number 10 refused to rule out shutting pubs after Professor Lockdown Neil Ferguson warned it might be the only way to keep schools open;
  • All lectures for thousands of students at Manchester’s two universities will be held online from tomorrow due to Covid, as 4,000 undergraduates have now tested positive for virus across UK;
  • The UK is heading for three-tier lockdown announcement this week, with the Prime Minister preparing a new system of regional rules with Liverpool and Newcastle on alert for tougher curbs;
  • Hospitalisations in the South are still only 6 per cent of levels seen at the peak but 30 per cent in the North, analysis shows. 

The startling new figures came as Nicola Sturgeon announced new restrictions would be announced for Scotland tomorrow, to come into effect from Friday.

But the First Minister used her daily press conference to say the measures to be revealed at Holyrood would not amount to another full lockdown.

She said the new measures will not include travel restrictions on the whole country – though such restrictions may sometimes be necessary in ‘hotspot’ areas – and the public will not be asked to stay in their own homes.

Speaking at the daily briefing in Edinburgh, she said schools will not be closed ‘wholly or even partially’, and the Scottish Government will not ‘shut down the entire economy’ or ‘halt the remobilisation of the NHS’.

‘We are not proposing another lockdown at this stage,’ Ms Sturgeon said. ‘Not even on a temporary basis.’

Neil Ferguson – known as ‘Professor Lockdown’ – warned this morning that pubs could have to shut altogether in parts of England to keep schools open.

The Westminster government’s Covid modelling guru said the extra cases added to the UK’s tally after an Excel blunder painted a ‘sobering’ picture of the outbreak.

He said it was not clear that the government could contain the virus while keeping children in secondary schools – and suggested that the wider population will have to ‘give up more’ to maintain the education provision.

That could include shutting bars and restaurants altogether, as well as extending the October half-term for a two-week ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown to break transmission chains.  

However, the problems the PM would face in pushing through such restrictions was laid bare with Conservatives threatening a bid to strike out the existing measures, including the Rule of Six and the 10pm closing time for pubs. 

Asked if more restrictions are coming for Liverpool and Newcastle, the Prime minister’s official spokesman said today: ‘We keep the data under constant review by looking at a wide range of data in terms of the number of positive cases per 100,000 people, also the number of hospitalisations, the number of people who are moved into intensive care units and also sadly the number of deaths.

‘We have always set out that if there is a need to go further on a local basis then we won’t hesitate to do what is required to protect the NHS and protect lives.’

An NHS source revealed last night to the The Sun they had been told another Scottish lockdown was coming. 

They added: ‘We’ve been told to expect it from 7pm on Friday.’ Figures published for the first time yesterday show 43 per cent of all cases across Scotland last week were in only two council areas – Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The truth about England’s second wave of Covid-19: Hospitalisations are 6% of peak levels in the South but 30% in the North 

The numbers of people being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 have levelled off in huge areas of England as data suggests the country is being dragged into panic by an out-of-control outbreak in the north.

In London, the South East and the South West – home to around half of the country’s population of 55million – daily admissions appear to be plateauing after rising in line with cases during September from a low point over the summer.

However, admissions are still accelerating in the North West, North East and Yorkshire, where new local lockdowns are springing up every week and positive tests are spiralling to record numbers. But as talk grows of a second national lockdown when winter hits, figures suggests the south faces being lumped under rules it doesn’t need.

The picture is more complex in the Midlands and the East of England – in the Midlands hospitalisations rose dramatically during September but there are signs they have peaked now, while admissions appear to still be rising slowly in the East, although at significantly lower levels than in the northern regions.

Numbers of people in hospital in the worst affected areas have hit almost a third of what they were during the peak of the crisis in April, while in the south of the country they are still much lower at around six per cent.

In the North West there are now an average of 107 people admitted to hospital with coronavirus every day, along with 94 per day in the North East. Both figures are the highest seen since May and do not show signs of slowing. For comparison, the rates at their peak for each region were around 2,900 and 2,600 per day, respectively.

On the other hand in London, where officials are reportedly discussing tougher measures, there are just 34 admissions per day – down from an average 39 on September 25 and just 4.5 per cent of the level seen at the peak of the crisis in April. And in the South West, which has been least badly hit throughout the pandemic, just eight people are sent into hospital each day – six per cent of the peak number. 

It sparked renewed calls for Ms Sturgeon to avoid imposing draconian restrictions on parts of the country with low virus rates. 

But a recent Government report warned there could be another 100,000 job losses by the end of the year.

 Tim Allan, of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: ‘Talk of a further blanket lockdown is unacceptable to Scottish businesses.

‘It would damage consumer and business confidence, which have already taken an unprecedented economic hit throughout this crisis.

‘Returning to national lockdown measures will take our economy back to square one – we simply cannot continue to keep switching the lights of the economy on and off. It risks not just jobs but the wellbeing of entire communities.

‘Instead, we should focus on using the evidence we have to target problem areas. 

‘The data the Scottish Government now has is sophisticated and detailed and will show in which environments and geographical areas the virus is spreading.

‘We know the virus will be with us for a long time. We must learn to manage it so we can carry on with our lives and protect livelihoods while keeping the risk of transmission as low as possible.’

New data published by Public Health Scotland puts five councils in the ‘red alert’ category as they have had more than 100 cases per 100,000 people over the past week: Glasgow, Edinburgh, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire and East Renfrewshire.

Out of Scotland’s 32 council areas, 43.4 per cent of all cases were in only two, Glasgow and Edinburgh, between September 27 and October 3. In Glasgow, there were 1,224 cases – or 193 per 100,000 people – while in Edinburgh there were 750 cases, or 143 per 100,000.

There was not a single positive case in Orkney or Shetland. Moray had only five cases per 100,000, Aberdeenshire 14, Clackmannanshire 15, Perth and Kinross 20 and 26 in Angus.

Murdo Fraser, Tory MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said: ‘I don’t believe there needs to be general nationwide restrictions when you see figures like this.

‘We saw a local lockdown in Aberdeen when there was a recent spiking of cases there. If, as has been suggested, we see more restrictions introduced in coming days, then I feel it is essential that they are targeted at specific problem areas, instead of right across the country.’

Asked yesterday if blanket measures will be introduced, Ms Sturgeon said that would be one of the ‘key considerations’.

She added: ‘If we feel there are further restrictions needed, are they needed nationwide or are they needed on a local or regional basis? We haven’t taken a decision on that.

The number of coronavirus deaths in England and Wales has spiked for the third week in a row, official figures show

Despite fatalities rising across the board, weekly deaths are still a fraction of what they was during the darkest days of the crisis, when there were 8,800 victims a week

Registered deaths involving Covid-19 increased in every region of England, except the East Midlands, where the weekly total fell from 14 to 11

There are still 750 more people dying in their houses than medics would expect at this time of year, highlighting the negative knock-on effect the pandemic is having on the nation’s health

Cancer patients will only be guaranteed treatment if Covid-19 stays ‘under control’, Matt Hancock claimed today as he faced a roasting from MPs over an Excel spreadsheet blunder that has potentially led to tens of thousands of Britons being unaware they are infected with the virus.

The Health Secretary claimed that it was ‘critical for everybody to understand the best way to keep cancer services running is to suppress the disease’, suggesting that hundreds of thousands of patients may face delays to planned surgery and chemotherapy, if the outbreak continues to spiral.

Vital operations were cancelled and patients missed out on potentially life-saving therapy in the spring because tackling Covid-19 became the sole focus of the health service, instead of cancer and other cruel diseases. 

Almost 2.5million people missed out on cancer screening, referrals or treatment at the height of lockdown, even though the NHS was never overwhelmed — despite fears it would be crippled by the pandemic.

Experts now fear the number of people dying as a result of delays triggered by the treatment of coronavirus patients could even end up being responsible for as many deaths as the pandemic itself.

Surgeons have worriedly called for hospital beds to be ‘ring-fenced’ for planned operations during the pandemic, to avoid the upheaval of spring where patients faced a ‘tsunami of cancellations’ as the health service focused on battling coronavirus. 

But in the House of Commons today, Mr Hancock warned Covid-19 could once again disrupt cancer treatment and told MPs that controlling the virus would allow the NHS to ‘recover the treatment that we need to for cancer and other killer diseases’.

He said: ‘It’s critical for everybody to understand that the best way to keep cancer services running is to suppress the disease, and the more the disease is under control the more we can both recover and continue with cancer treatments.  

‘Although we’re seeing in West Central Scotland and in Lothian particularly high numbers of cases and levels of infection, it would be wrong to suggest we’re not seeing rising infection in pretty much every part of the country. We are.’ Ms Sturgeon said that on most days over the past week there have been cases in every mainland health board area, as well as some islands.

She added: ‘There is a rising tide of infection across the country, albeit it is higher in some parts than in others.

‘Part of our consideration about restrictions also requires us to take account of not just reacting to a problem that is there, but also are you wiser to take preventative action in areas where it might not look like there is as big a problem now, but if you act you can stop a problem developing.’ 

Meanwhile, parts of the UK – including a number of university cities – could be plunged into local lockdown within days after ‘missed’ Test and Trace data belatedly revealed soaring infection figures.

Cities including Sheffield and Oxford are among a dozen areas which have seen their coronavirus infection figures soar following the ‘computer glitch’, which meant 16,000 cases were missed off Public Health England’s reporting system. 

Residents in Nottingham, which has two universities, have reportedly been told to brace for lockdown measures, according to the Telegraph.

The city, which is home to Nottingham University and Nottingham Trent University, was previously not on the Government’s Covid ‘watch list’. 

But the updated data reveals the city would have been one of the worst areas in the country last week when compared with the pre-adujsted figures. 

The Department for Health insist the new figures do not impact its watch list or alter current restriction in the area, according to the paper. 

 It comes as new figures today revealed that cases are rocketing in some of the North’s biggest cities.

Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Newcastle and Nottingham have all seen huge jumps, in some instances to a rate of 500 cases per 100,000 people.

That triggered a fresh round of frenzied speculation about tougher local lockdowns yesterday, with the threat of further restrictions later this week. 

Manchester’s weekly rate more than doubled to 2,927 in the week to October 2 – equal to almost 530 cases per 100,000 people. 

Liverpool was not far behind, with cases per 100,000 jumping from 306 to 487 in a week.

Cases in Sheffield almost trebled from just over 100 per 100,000 to 286. In Newcastle, the rate leapt from 268 to 435.

Many of the biggest rises are in cities with large student populations.

Following the revelation that almost 16,000 ‘missed’ cases had been added to the system, infection rates spiralled in every authority of the country except four at the weekend — all of which were in the South. The cases have mostly been added to the North West of the country, with other areas in the North East and Midlands also hit badly

Manchester, now the Covid-19 hotspot in England, saw its infection rate – expressed as cases per 100,000 people – increase by 80 per cent from 289.4 on October 2 to 529.4 on October 5. Leeds infection rate increased by 112 per cent from 149.3 to 316.8 in the same period 

Sheffield’s rate shot up 160 per cent from 100.9 to 286.6. In Nottingham, East Midlands, the case rate jump up 3-fold, from 100.6 to 382.4

Scotland can be seen to have had increased infections that a lot of certain parts of England

Professor Lockdown warns pubs might close to save schools as PM faces Tory mutiny

The government’s Covid modelling guru today warned pubs could have to shut altogether to keep schools open – as Boris Johnson faces a Tory revolt against the 10pm curfew.

Neil Ferguson – known as ‘Professor Lockdown’ – said the extra cases added to the UK’s tally after an Excel blunder painted a ‘sobering’ picture of the outbreak.

He said it was not clear that the government could contain the virus while keeping children in secondary schools – and suggested that the wider population will have to ‘give up more’ to maintain the education provision.

That could include shutting bars and restaurants altogether, as well as extending the October half-term for a two-week ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown to break transmission chains.  

However, the problems the PM would face in pushing through such restrictions was laid bare with Conservatives threatening a bid to strike out the existing measures, including the Rule of Six and the 10pm closing time for pubs.

Anger has been growing on the Tory benches over the government’s refusal to exempt younger children from the Rule of Six – as happens in Scotland – while many believe that the curfew is causing more harm than good by fueling revelry on the streets and house parties. 

Mr Hancock said outbreaks on campuses would not necessarily lead to tougher restrictions for the wider community if they could be contained.  

Meanwhile, Covid contact tracers were last night desperately trying to hunt down tens of thousands of potentially infectious Britons after the full impact of the IT blunder was laid bare.

Ministers admitted yesterday that officials had managed to get in touch with only half of the 16,000 left off the Government’s daily tally of confirmed virus cases last week.

Estimates have suggested these people could have as many as 50,000 potentially infectious contacts needing to be traced and told to isolate.

The 697 positive cases confirmed yesterday across Scotland amounted to 12.8 per cent of newly tested patients. The number of people in hospital with the virus increased by eight, to 218, while those in intensive care remained unchanged at 22, and there were no new deaths.

Ms Sturgeon said there were more young people testing positive than at the start of the pandemic, but warned more older people had been catching the virus in recent weeks.

She said: ‘This is a very important point, and actually one of the key points in our consideration of next steps in the days to come. It risks wellbeing of entire communities’

In the UK it is predicated that a number of university cities could be put into local lockdown days after a test and trace counting blunder rocked the infection logging system. 

Cities including Sheffield, Leeds and Oxford are among a dozen areas which have seen their coronavirus infection figures soar following the ‘computer glitch’, which meant 16,000 cases were missed off Public Health England’s reporting system. 

Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Newcastle and Nottingham have all seen huge jumps, in some instances to a rate of 500 cases per 100,000 people.

That triggered a fresh round of frenzied speculation about tougher local lockdowns yesterday, with the threat of further restrictions later this week.

Manchester’s weekly rate more than doubled to 2,927 in the week to October 2 – equal to almost 530 cases per 100,000 people. 

The truth about England’s second wave of Covid-19: Hospitalisations are 6% of peak levels in the South but 30% in the North and deaths have flattened in all but the North West, North East and the Midlands

The numbers of people being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 have levelled off in huge areas of England as data suggests the country is being dragged into panic by an out-of-control outbreak in the north.

Covid-19 deaths in England and Wales spike by 55% with 215 victims last week

The number of coronavirus deaths in England and Wales has spiked for the third week in a row, official figures show – as Britain recorded another 76 virus victims.

Covid-19 was mentioned on 215 death certificates in the week that ended September 25, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This marked a 55 per cent rise in the 139 deaths recorded the previous week and more than double the 99 posted a fortnight ago.

Just two of the 215 victims were under the age of 50, once again highlighting how the virus disproportionately preys on older people. Registered deaths involving Covid-19 increased in every region of England, except the East Midlands, where the weekly total fell from 14 to 11. Deaths were highest in the North West (60).

Despite fatalities rising across the board, weekly deaths are still a fraction of what they were during the darkest days of the crisis, when there were 8,800 victims a week. And flu and pneumonia are still killing more than five times the amount of people as Covid-19, with 1,172 people passing from the respiratory illnesses in the last seven days. 

Meanwhile, there are still 750 more people dying in their houses than medics would expect at this time of year, highlighting the negative knock-on effect the pandemic is having on the nation’s health. 

Experts say many people are still too scared to use the NHS for fear of catching Covid-19, while others don’t want to be a burden on the health service. Hospitals are still scrambling to get services back up and running and cut down record waiting lists after months of operating at a fraction of their capacity.

In London, the South East and the South West – home to around half of the country’s population of 55million – daily admissions appear to be plateauing after rising in line with cases during September from a low point over the summer.

However, admissions are still accelerating in the North West, North East and Yorkshire, where new local lockdowns are springing up every week and positive tests are spiralling to record numbers. But as talk grows of a second national lockdown when winter hits, figures suggests the south faces being lumped under rules it doesn’t need.

The picture is more complex in the Midlands and the East of England – in the Midlands hospitalisations rose dramatically during September but there are signs they have peaked now, while admissions appear to still be rising slowly in the East, although at significantly lower levels than in the northern regions.

Numbers of people in hospital in the worst affected areas have hit almost a third of what they were during the peak of the crisis in April, while in the south of the country they are still much lower at around six per cent.

In the North West there are now an average of 107 people admitted to hospital with coronavirus every day, along with 94 per day in the North East. Both figures are the highest seen since May and do not show signs of slowing. For comparison, the rates at their peak for each region were around 2,900 and 2,600 per day, respectively.

On the other hand in London, where officials are reportedly discussing tougher measures, there are just 34 admissions per day – down from an average 39 on September 25 and just 4.5 per cent of the level seen at the peak of the crisis in April. And in the South West, which has been least badly hit throughout the pandemic, just eight people are sent into hospital each day – six per cent of the peak number.

The same picture is true of the numbers of people dying of Covid-19. 171 of the 219 deaths recorded in the third week of September (78 per cent) all came from the three worst-hit regions – the North East, North West and the Midlands.

Statistics have shown that coronavirus cases appear to rise in most areas that get put under local lockdown measures, raising questions about how well they work at containing smaller outbreaks.

But Professor Neil Ferguson, whose work influenced the Government to start the first UK-wide lockdown in March, said today that the situation in Britain would ‘probably be worse’ if officials were not taking the whack-a-mole approach. He said there is still a risk that the NHS could become overwhelmed if cases aren’t stopped – even if infections have started to come under control it can still take weeks for people to get sick enough to need hospital treatment.

The Department of Health yesterday announced a huge 12,594 new cases of Covid-19 after a weekend that saw Public Health England admit it had messed up a spreadsheet that meant 16,000 positive tests weren’t counted last week. 

Officials have warned the public that coronavirus is now spreading faster than it was in summer in every region of England, estimating that around one in 400 people have the disease, falling to one in 200 in hard-hit areas.

But Public Health England data shows the rate of cases in the North West and North East are around eight times higher than they are in the South West, South East and East of England.

The region with the highest rate is the North West, where there are 136.1 cases for every 100,000 people, compared to the lowest rate in the South East where there are just 16.1 cases per 100,000.

Professor Neil Ferguson, an Imperial College London expert, said on BBC Radio 4 this morning: ‘We think that infections are probably increasing, doubling every two weeks or so – in some areas faster than that, maybe every seven days – and in other areas slower.’

He said scientists ‘always expected’ cases to rise once lockdown was lifted and that now was a time for trial and error of local lockdown rules to see how well the virus can be controlled while schools and work return to normal. 

‘We’re about 10 times lower in infection levels than we were just before the original lockdown,’ he said, but he stressed keeping new infections under wraps is crucial.

‘The death rate probably has gone down [since spring], we know how to treat cases better, hospitals are less stressed, we have new drugs,’ Professor Ferguson said.

‘But admissions to hospitals, hospital beds occupied with Covid patients, and deaths, are all tracking cases. They’re at a lower level but they’re basically doubling every two weeks and we just cannot have that continue indefinitely. 

‘The NHS will be overwhelmed again and you can see what’s happening in Paris and what’s happening in Madrid and measures there. It’s being driven by hospitals gradually becoming overwhelmed. Over half of ICU beds [there] are now Covid patients and their death numbers are again creeping up inexorably.’ 

Department of Health data shows that three quarters of all hospital patients who have Covid-19 (76.8 per cent) are in the North West, North East and Midlands regions. A third are in the North West alone. 

WHAT IS THE HOSPITAL SITUATION RIGHT NOW?

As per to Department of Health data up to October 5: 

Region 

In hospital now / average daily admissions:

Compared to peak:

Of England total in hospital now:

East England

London

Midlands

NE & Yorks

North West

South East

South West

111 / 15

312 / 34

449 / 57

656 / 94

889 / 107 

115 / 15

61 / 8

7% / 7%

6% / 5%

14% / 10%

25% / 23%

32% / 26%

6% / 5%

7% / 6%

4.3%

12%

17.3%

25.3%

34.2%

4.4%

2.4% 

Meanwhile, in the East, South East, South West and London – home to at least 30million people –  there were just 318 patients with coronavirus yesterday, October 3.

While the rates of people being admitted to hospital are clearing soaring in the northern regions, they appear flat or even declining in other ares.

Every region experienced a surge in the numbers of people getting sent to hospital in September as cases rose in line with loosened lockdown rules, cooler weather and the return of schools and offices after summer holidays.

But in four out of the six regions of the country this increase started to slow down and tail off towards the end of the month while it continued rising in the north.

In the week leading up to October 3, the most recent data, the average daily admissions in the Midlands rose only from 52 to 57 after spiking into the 50s from below 10 a day at the end of August. In the same week, however, admissions in the North West continued surging and went from 79 to 107.

In London and the South East admissions fell from 37 to 34, based on a seven-day average, while they stayed flat in the South West, increasing from seven to eight. They kept spiralling in the North East and Yorkshire from 70 to 94, while also rising in the East of England from 10 to 15, suggesting the situation may be worsening in the East, too. 

Comparing the numbers to peak levels from the spring outbreak shows that most of the country is nowhere near those levels.

Closest is the North West, where the number of people in hospital right now is about a third as high as it was on April 13 – 889 compared to 2,890. In the North East the number of patients is at 656 compared to 2,567 on April 9 – 25.5 per cent as high.

In other regions that are nowhere near as badly affected, however, hospital patients are hitting only six per cent of the levels they did at the height of the outbreak.

In London there are just 312 compared to 4,813 on April 8 – six per cent as many – and in the South East just 115 compared to 2,073 on April 7.           

Deaths, which are also significantly lower than they were at the peak but are the last figure to rise in an outbreak, also vary dramatically across the country and are only rising in some regions.

Coronavirus fatalities surged in September, rising from 41 in the week ending September 3 to 219 in the week ending September 28. 

The latter is the most recent week that NHS data is reliable because it can take weeks for death reports to be filed, meaning the number of victims placed on each day continues to rise for days and weeks after the date passes.

Most of the rise came from hospitals in the North East, North West and the Midlands, the Health Service Journal reported, with all but 48 of the 219 happening in those regions.

NHS trusts in Greater Manchester, Cumbria, Lancashire and Cheshire and Merseyside accounted for half of all the deaths in that last week of September, according to the specialist news website.

But other regions have not seen a rise in deaths following the warnings of a national resurgence of Covid-19. Just one person died in the South West during that entire week and fatalities remain flat and low in London, the South East, South West and the East. 

In a speech in the House of Commons yesterday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock acknowledged that the northern regions, Scotland and Wales were driving Britain’s second wave.

He told MPs: ‘Here in the UK the number of hospital admissions is now at the highest it has been since mid-June. 

‘Last week the ONS [Office for National Statistics] said that while the rate of increase may be falling, the number of cases is still rising. Yesterday [Sunday] there were 12,594 new positive cases.

‘The rise is more localised than the first time round, with cases rising particularly sharply in the North East and North West of England, and parts of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

‘Now, more than ever – with winter ahead – we must all remain vigilant and get this virus under control.’

Data for Scotland and Wales show they are proportionately worse affected than much of England, with the number of patients in hospital in Wales at 24 per cent of the levels seen in the peak in AprilNumbers are much smaller in Scotland and Wales, however, and combined they only have 393 patients in hospital – fewer than the Midlands, North East or North West of England. Scotland’s hospital admissions are at approximately 12 per cent of peak levels.

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