Number of Covid-19 hospital patients in England climbs above 5,000
The number of patients in hospital with Covid-19 in England has risen above 5,000 to its highest level for more than four months.
A total of 5,055 patients were in hospital on July 26, according to the latest figures from NHS England.
This is up 33% from the previous week, and is the highest since March 18.
All regions of England have seen week-on-week increases in patients, with London up 48% from 647 to 957, and the Midlands up 31% from 730 to 959.
The combined area of north-east England and Yorkshire continues to record the highest number of any region, with 1,152 Covid-19 patients on July 26, up 36% week-on-week.
The figures reflect the impact of the third wave of coronavirus, which began in England at the end of May.
Although the number of new cases of coronavirus has recently started to fall, it will take a while for this to show up in the hospital data, due to the length of time between someone testing positive for Covid-19 and then becoming ill enough to require hospital care.
Because of this, patient numbers are likely to continue rising for the next couple of weeks before there is any clear sign of a levelling off.
The current total of 5,055 Covid-19 patients in England is nearly double the number a fortnight ago.
It is still well below levels seen at the peak of the second wave, however.
A total of 34,336 Covid-19 patients were in hospital in England on January 18, the highest at any point since the pandemic began.
The average number of daily hospital admissions of patients with Covid-19 stood at 761 on July 24: up 26% week-on-week and the highest since March 1.
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