The number of Covid-19 patients in hospital in three of the seven NHS regions in England have passed levels recorded at the peak of the first wave of the virus, figures show.
A fourth region is likely to pass the first-wave peak in a matter of days.
North-west England, north-east England and Yorkshire, and south-west England have all recorded more patients in hospital than during the height of the first wave of Covid-19 in April.
In north-west England, 3,013 hospital patients with confirmed Covid-19 were reported on November 17.
This is 123 higher than the first-wave peak of 2,890 on April 13.
In north-east England and Yorkshire, 3,397 patients were reported on November 17 – 830 above the first-wave peak of 2,567 on April 9.
Together, both regions currently account for 47% of Covid-19 hospital patients in England.
In south-west England, the number of patients reached 874 on November 15, before dipping slightly to 832 on November 17.
The first-wave peak was 840 on April 14.
Meanwhile, the number of Covid-19 hospital patients in the Midlands has roughly doubled in the last three weeks, from 1,566 on October 27 to 3,039 patients on November 17.
This is almost level with its first-wave peak of 3,101 on April 10.
If the rate of increase continues, the Midlands could reach a new high within a few days.
In the remaining three regions of England, numbers have also risen but at a slower pace.
In London, 1,403 hospital patients with Covid-19 were reported on November 17, well below the first-wave peak of 4,813.
In south-east England, 1,071 patients were reported on November 17. The first-wave peak in this region was 2,073.
And in eastern England, 810 hospital patients were reported on November 17 – again, some way below the first-wave peak of 1,484.
All figures are taken from the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.
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