The fourth Covid wave of 2022 now appears to be fully underway, with seven-day hospital admissions climbing 48 per cent from 4,015 on September 19 to 5,930 on September 26 (the latest data available).
This is the highest weekly percentage growth since that was recorded on January 4, and the speed of the rise in cases has taken many by surprise.
South East recorded the highest (64 per cent).
All NHS regions are experiencing rises. The North East and Yorkshire region recorded the lowest increase (29 per cent), while the South East recorded the highest (64 per cent).
The number of covid positive patients in English hospitals stood at 7,074 yesterday, October 9, a 37 per cent week-on-week increase from 5,142. This is the steepest percentage rise since July 2.
The South West reported the sharpest increase in occupation (62 per cent), while London recorded the lowest (15 per cent).
Almost two in five (39 per cent) covid positive hospital patients were being treated for the disease, a slight rise in the ratio recorded during previous months. However, there is significant regional variation, with the data showing over 50 per cent of covid positive patients in the South West being treated mainly for the disease, but only half that level in the East of England region.
Hospitals are now only testing ‘symptomatic’ patients for covid. Until recently, all patients were tested. Therefore, the total number of covid positive patients in hospitals is likely to be even higher than indicated by the latest data.
A senior NHS England source said the wave had been
“triggered by schools returning and bank holiday mixing not by the emergence of new variants.”
They believed the booster vaccine would prevent the wave from hitting the heights seen earlier in the year.
The previous 2022 waves – in terms of bed occupation – topped out at 17,120 (January 10),16,600 (April 7), and 14,044 (July 18).