Covid-19 hospital admissions in England may have peaked - figures

2 August 2021, 21:53

The number of coronavirus patients admitted into English hospitals on July 31 was the lowest since July 16
The number of coronavirus patients admitted into English hospitals on July 31 was the lowest since July 16. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

The third wave of Covid-19 hospital admissions in England may have peaked, new figures suggest.

A total of 593 admissions of patients with coronavirus were recorded on July 31, NHS England said, down 19 per cent on the previous week and the lowest daily number since July 16.

“The fact that hospital admissions are now falling provides further evidence that the decline in cases in the last couple of weeks was real and not due to an artefact from changing testing or people deleting the NHS Covid app, as some have suggested,” said Professor Paul Hunter from the University of East Anglia.

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"As yet the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 has not peaked, though it is clearly plateauing, and we can expect to start seeing this fall in the next few days.

"It will take another week or so before we see any impact on reported deaths," he added.

As well as the daily figures, the seven-day average for admissions has also started to decrease, falling four days in a row from July 27 to July 31.

The figures are the first sign the recent drop in new cases of Covid-19 could be having an impact on hospital numbers.

Any change in the level of new reported cases of coronavirus typically takes a while to show up in hospital data, due to the length of time between someone testing positive for Covid-19 and then becoming ill enough to require hospital care.

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The figures mean that, although the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 is continuing to rise, the rate of increase is slowing down.

Because of the delay, the number of deaths is continuing to rise.

The average daily reported number of deaths within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 currently stands at 76, up from 64 a week ago.

However, the average number of new reported cases of coronavirus in the UK stood at 26,364 on August 2 – the lowest since July 5 and down more than 25 per cent on the previous week.