The number of people in hospital in the UK with Covid-19 is now just over half the peak seen during the second wave of the virus a year ago, new figures show.
A total of 19,828 patients were recorded on January 10, according to the latest Government data.
This is up 21% week on week, and is the highest number since February 16, 2021.
It is also just over half the 39,254 patients recorded on January 18, 2021 – at the peak of the second wave.
Patient numbers are not rising right across the country, however.
The figures for London and Northern Ireland have fallen in recent days, while other regions such as south-east and eastern England show signs of levelling off.
But numbers are continuing to climb steadily in Scotland, Wales, north-east England and Yorkshire.
There were 2,286 Covid-19 hospital admissions on January 6, the latest UK-wide figure available, down 3% week-on-week.
Admissions during the second wave peaked at 4,583 on January 12, 2021.