Rise in Covid hospital admissions was ‘expected’, says Javid Britain’s health secretary Sajid Javid speaks during a press conference. (Photo by TOBY MELVILLE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
UK health secretary has said that an increase in Covid infections following the easing of coronavirus restrictions was ‘expected’.
Sajid Javid told Sky News that there is no “cause for concern” despite the number of people in hospital with Covid climbing back above 10,000.
Daily Covid cases in the UK have soared above 100,000 for the first time in over a month amid the rise of a more infectious subvariant of Omicron that is feared to be as contagious as measles, reports said.
“We are now open as a country and there’s more social mixing, but there’s nothing in the data at this point in time that gives us any cause for concern,” Javid told Sky News.
More than half of all Covid 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 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.
Earlier this week, as many as10,576 people were in the hospital, up 19 per cent week-on-week, according to NHS England. The last time the number was above 10,000 was on February 15.
Patient levels in England are still some way below the peak reached at the start of this year during the omicron wave of infections (17,120) and well below the peak of the second wave in January 2021 (34,336), The Telegraph reported.
Meanwhile, figures show that the number of Covid patients with symptoms serious enough to be placed in mechanical ventilation beds has yet to show signs of an increase.
A total of 239 people were in ventilator beds in hospitals in England on March 14, unchanged from the previous week and well below the 797 recorded at the peak of the Omicron wave – and the 3,736 at the second-wave peak in January 2021.
According to The Telegraph report, most areas are now seeing patient numbers back at roughly the level of four to five weeks ago.
In south east England the total is the highest for two months. And in south west England, numbers are now their highest for nearly a year, with 1,081 patients as of March 14 – more than at any point since 1,109 patients were recorded on February 12, 2021.
Data published last week by the Office for National Statistics showed infection levels rising in all four nations of the UK for the first time since the end of January this year.