Number of people in hospital in England rises by 22%


The number of people in hospital with COVID-19 in England has risen by 22% in a week, latest figures show.

There were 6,720 people in hospital with the virus on December 14, up from 5,501 on December 7, according to figures released by NHS England.

While the number of mechanical ventilation beds occupied by confirmed Covid-19 patients increased from 129 to 150 during the same period.

The growth rate varies by region.

Prof. David Strain of the University of Exeter Medical School, said most of those primarily being treated for Covid-19 were eligible for an autumn booster vaccination but had not yet had the vaccination.

“The numbers in hospitals are increasing, but there is also an impact on the staff,” he said.

The data “matches” figures from the Office for National Statistics which suggest that levels of Covid-19 infection are again on the rise in England, by 1.73%, or 1 in 60.

Prof Mark Woolhouse, an infectious disease expert at the University of Edinburgh, said that while Covid cases were increasing, the increase was “nothing as explosive” as this time last year when the Omicron variant arrived and that the obvious public health advice were to avoid others if you have cold symptoms.

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