Covid-19 hospital admissions in England reach highest level in four months

13 July 2021, 21:05 | Updated: 13 July 2021, 21:06

Hospital admissions are at their highest since March.
Hospital admissions are at their highest since March. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Covid-19 hospital admissions in England have reached their highest level in four months, NHS England figures have shown.

It comes as Boris Johnson warned the coronavirus pandemic is not over, despite England unlocking its final legal restrictions from lockdown on July 19.

A total of 502 admissions were reported on 11 July, up 29 per cent from the previous week. This marked the highest number since 6 March.

Average daily admissions also peaked for the first time in four months, standing at 460 on 11 July - the highest number since 12 March.

The north-east of England and Yorkshire saw one of the biggest increases of 25 per cent week-on-week, making up 127 of the latest admissions.

However, numbers remain relatively low compared to the second wave in January, when average admissions reached 3,812.

As of 13 July, the total number of Covid-19 patients in hospital in England stood at 2,970, also the highest since the end of March, but easily eclipsed by the 34,336 on 18 January, during the second wave of the pandemic.

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This comes after the government's chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, said at a press conference on Monday that there was "no doubt" the country was entering a third wave, inevitably leading to an increase in hospital admissions.

"If behaviour returns immediately to pre-pandemic levels, that will be a very, very big rise," he said, referring to the easing of restrictions.

"If we go slowly and cautiously, it will be less of a rise."

England's chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, also warned that the NHS would face more pressure as the country enters step four of its roadmap out of lockdown.

"There isn't a cut-off point, but what we're hoping is that if we proceed now then the peak will be significantly lower than the peak we saw in January, for example," he said.

"But to think we're not going to have pressure on the NHS is not realistic."