The number of hospital admissions for Covid-19 infections in England has risen to its highest level since January.
The number of NHS hospital workers absent due to the virus has also nearly doubled in a month, new numbers have revealed.
The latest data from the NHS England, released on Friday (December 31st) shows that it was in England on December 29th.
But it’s still well below the second wave’s peak of 4,134 admissions on Jan. 12, despite more record-breaking case numbers being reported.
Government figures show an additional 189,846 laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 cases were recorded in the UK at 9 a.m. on Friday, another new record for daily reported cases.
It comes after new data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showed an estimated 2.3 million people in the UK were infected with Covid-19 for the week ending December 23rd.
This is an increase of 1.4 million in the week ending December 16 and the highest value since comparable figures began in fall 2020.
Meanwhile, separate data from NHS England showed that 24,632 NHS hospital trust staff were infected with coronavirus or self-isolating on Boxing Day, a 31% increase from 18,829 a week earlier and almost double the 12,508 at the start of month.
Matthew Taylor, chairman of the board of directors of the NHS Confederation, said the NHS is facing a “perfect storm” of rising Covid hospital admissions and illnesses and an increasing number of sick people on the front lines.
“The NHS plans to go back to work for patients with the new Nightingale Surge Centers, additional support from community services and virtual wards, but there is no doubt the whole system is running hot,” he said.
“While the government appears determined not to increase restrictions in England, it is vital that we all behave in such a way that an already dangerous situation is not made worse.”
The magnitude of the increasing staff absenteeism has led to political calls for the Prime Minister to “immediately” call an emergency meeting of the Cobra government to “work out a comprehensive rescue plan”.
Liberal Democratic health spokeswoman Daisy Cooper said the health service was “burdened to the breaking point,” adding: “Our NHS is in dire need of support. The government must give this crisis the attention it deserves. “
There were 1,915 Covid-19 hospital admissions across the UK as of Monday (December 27) – a 62% increase on a weekly basis and the highest number since February 8, according to government figures.
In the UK, 11,918 people were hospitalized with Covid-19 as of Wednesday (December 29), up 44% from the week and the highest number since March 2.
In England, according to the NHS England, there were 12,395 people with Covid-19 in the hospital on New Year’s Eve from 8 a.m.
This is 68% more than a week earlier and the highest value since February 25th.
NHS England National Medical Director Professor Stephen Powis said the health service is setting up nightingale surge centers in hospitals across the country and recruiting thousands of nurses and reservists.
He added, “We don’t yet know the full extent of the surge in Omicron cases and how it will affect people in need of NHS treatment, but after the number of patients with Covid in the hospital hits a 10-month high while wrestling with the ever-increasing workforce. ”During absences, we do everything we can to free up beds and bring people home to their loved ones – and for the past week hundreds more beds have been vacated every day compared to the week before.
“The NHS is on a war basis, and while staff continue to prepare for the worst, the absence of Covid for NHS staff has nearly doubled in the past two weeks, bringing as many coworkers as possible to the front lines and the Absence will be minimized in the next few weeks. “
Prof. Powis also urged people to get vaccinated, with 397,554 booster and third doses of the Covid-19 vaccine reported in the UK on Thursday.
In the UK, more than 33.9 million booster and third doses have now been given, with around 64% of adults now receiving a booster or third dose.
The ONS figures released on Friday also showed that in the week ending Jan.
One in 25 is roughly equivalent to two million people and is the highest number since the ONS began estimating the number of infections for England in May 2020.
In London, in the week up to 23.
The ONS said that in Wales it is estimated that one in 40 people in the week leading up to Jan.
In Northern Ireland, the latest estimate is also one in 40, which is the record high in mid-August, and for Scotland, the latest estimate is one in 40, which is the highest on record.
Meanwhile, ministers have been warned that they must be ready to apply restrictions “at the pace” as the NHS moves into an emergency situation to deal with a possible surge in Covid-19 patients.
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said the shop stewards acknowledge that the UK government’s threshold for introducing additional measures in England “has not yet been exceeded” but that additional capacity will be created if pressure on hospitals increases .
In Scotland and Wales, nightclubs are closed to New Year’s party-goers and hospitality has been restricted.
In England, however, ministers have chosen to forego measures beyond the UK government’s Plan B, which includes compulsory Covid passports for major events, increased wearing of masks in public places and working from home.
Mr Hopson, chairman of the group that represents health trusts in England, said even if additional restrictions were put in place to control the Omicron variant, it would take two weeks to lower the hospitalization rate.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today program, “It is the government that sets the rules for restrictions, not the NHS, and we know the government has set a high threshold for introducing new restrictions.
“On this basis, confidential counselors can see why the government is arguing that this threshold has not yet been exceeded because not many seriously ill elderly patients are hospitalized.
“But we still don’t know if there will be an ascent, and in fact we are talking exactly about the preparations we are making for this ascent.
“In terms of the restrictions, I think we have been in the exact same place for the past fourteen days that the government needs to be ready to put stricter restrictions in place at real speed if necessary.”