COVID: Number of people with coronavirus in hospital in England rises to 9,546

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The number of people in hospital with COVID in England has risen to 9,546, according to latest figures.

This is up 38% from a week earlier and is the highest number since 3 March.

The latest figure compares to 8,474 yesterday, according to NHS England.

During the second wave of coronavirus, the number peaked at 34,336 on 18 January.

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In London, there are 3,024 people in hospital with COVID - up 59% on last week and the highest since 19 February.

Last winter's peak for the capital was 7,917 on 18 January.

The whole of the UK was under tough lockdown restrictions at that time.

COVID cases are also at record levels in England, with 117,093 reported today.

However, the government has announced that there will be no new restrictions put in place in England before the New Year - putting Downing Street out of step with the devolved administrations.

Other new data has revealed 17,269 new Omicron cases across England and Northern Ireland.

Just in England, hospital admissions for people with confirmed or suspected Omicron has increased to 668, while deaths have risen to 49, according to the UK Health Security Agency.

Wales has not reported any Omicron figures yet due to the festive period, while Scotland is no longer separating Omicron cases from other variants in its daily reports.

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