Number of Covid-19 hospital patients down by nearly half after recent peak

The number of people in hospital in England with Covid-19 has nearly halved from its recent peak in mid-October.

Admission rates are also continuing to drop, with health experts describing the figures as “hugely encouraging”.

A total of 5,647 patients testing positive for coronavirus were in hospital as of 8am on November 9, according to NHS England.

This is down 23% from the previous week, but also a fall of 47% since hitting 10,688 on October 17.

The sharp decrease in patients is another signal that the latest wave of the virus is now receding.

Patient numbers had begun to climb in mid-September, driven by a fresh surge in infections.

But this trend came to a halt only a month later, since when the figures have been on a downwards path.

HEALTH Coronavirus Hospitals
(PA Graphics)

Covid-19 hospital data is published every Thursday, so it can take time for a clear trend to emerge.

The total number of coronavirus patients has now fallen 23 days in a row, however.

Earlier this year patient levels topped 14,000 at the peak of the wave of infections caused by the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the virus.

This was well below the levels seen during the early waves of the pandemic.

Covid-19 hospital admission rates in England stood at 5.4 per 100,000 people in the week to November 6, down from 7.7 in the previous week and the fourth consecutive fall.

Rates continue to be highest among people aged 85 and over, though here the level has dropped week-on-week from 85.7 per 100,000 to 51.7.

Dr Mary Ramsay, director of public health programmes at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said: “It is hugely encouraging that Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations are still in decline.

“This goes to show how effective the vaccine programme continues to be and we thank everyone who has come forward for their latest vaccination so far.

“However, it is still vital that anyone who has not had their booster this autumn does so as soon as possible. Vaccination is still the best way to protect yourself, your family and the NHS, particularly as we head into winter.”

HEALTH Coronavirus Hospitals
(PA Graphics)

Around three-quarters (75.4%) of people aged 80 and over in England are now likely to have received an autumn booster dose of Covid-19 vaccine, along with a similar proportion (76.2%) of 75 to 79-year-olds.

The booster is intended to increase protection against serious illness during new waves of the virus.

The UKHSA data, which covers vaccinations up to November 6, also shows that 72.9% of 70 to 74-year-olds are estimated to have had the booster, as well as 65.2% of people aged 65 to 69.

All people aged 50 and over are able to book an appointment for the booster, providing they had their last jab at least three months ago.

Doses are also available to frontline health and care workers, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.

Estimates published last week by the Office for National Statistics suggested that infections in England started to fall at the end of last month, with 1.6 million people in private households likely to test positive for Covid-19 in the week to October 24, down from 1.7 million the previous week.

Infections in England peaked at 3.1 million during the summer BA.4/BA.5 wave.