Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Number of Covid-19 hospital patients in England lowest since Christmas

A total of 7,034 patients were in hospital as of 8am on May 11, down 21% week-on-week, according to NHS England (Jacob King/PA)
A total of 7,034 patients were in hospital as of 8am on May 11, down 21% week-on-week, according to NHS England (Jacob King/PA)

The number of people with Covid-19 in hospital in England has fallen to its lowest level since last Christmas, new figures show.

A total of 7,034 patients were in hospital as of 8am on May 11, down 21% week-on-week, according to NHS England.

This is the lowest figure since December 21 2021, when it stood at 6,902.

It was in late December that patient numbers started to rise sharply, driven by the spread of the original Omicron variant of coronavirus.

They peaked at 17,120 on January 10 2022, then fell back – only to rise again due to the subsequent wave of infections caused by Omicron BA.2, hitting a slightly lower peak of 16,600 on April 7.

HEALTH Coronavirus Hospitals
(PA Graphics)

Numbers have been dropping for the past month, with all regions of England now showing a steady decline.

In south-east England, they have fallen to levels last seen in mid-October 2021.

The trend reflects the large drop in the prevalence of the virus in recent weeks, as reported by the Office for National Statistics in its regular infection survey.

An estimated 1.6 million people in private households in England were likely to have had Covid-19 in the week ending April 30, down from 2.4 million the previous week and a record 4.1 million at the end of March.

Despite the rise in patients during both of the Omicron-led waves, hospital numbers this year have yet to come close to matching the level reached during the second wave of the virus, when they hit 34,336 in January 2021.

Around three in five of all Covid-19 patients in hospital trusts in England are being treated primarily for something else – up from a quarter in autumn 2021.

All patients who have tested positive for Covid-19 need to be treated separately from those who do not have the virus, regardless of whether they are in hospital primarily for Covid or not.

But the jump in the proportion of patients who are in hospital “with” Covid-19 rather than “for” Covid-19 is another sign that the recent waves of the virus have not led to the same sort of pressure on critical care as in previous waves.