A STARK North-South fracture appears to be opening in England over the number of people admitted to hospital suffering from Covid-19.
The numbers show that there is still cause for concern for the northern regions while in the south the numbers are stabilizing.
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In London, in the south-east and south-west, home to around half of England’s population of 55 million, daily hospital admissions now appear to have leveled off, having increased in September after a decrease during the summer.
But figures in the North West, North East and Yorkshire still show a worrying trend and a number of local lockdowns are in place to fight a second peak.
However, the situation is not so clear in the Midlands and in the east of England.
In the Midlands, hospitalizations rose sharply in September, but there are indications that have now peaked.
Hospital admissions appear to continue to increase in the east, but at a lower level than in northern regions, reports MailOnline.
But even in the worst-affected areas, hospital admissions are a third of the levels seen during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in April.
In the South, that figure drops to around 6% of peak figures.
Currently in the Northwest, an average of 107 people are admitted to hospital with the virus each day, while in the Northeast, the figure is 94 per day.
Neither area shows any signs of slowing these numbers.
At their peak for each region, the numbers were approximately 2,900 and 2,600 per day, respectively.
In London, however, where officials are discussing the introduction of stricter measures, there are only 34 admissions per day, up from 39 on average on September 25 and only 4.5% of the level seen at the peak of the crisis. in April.
The numbers improve even more in the southwest, where eight people are currently sent to hospital with the virus each day, which is just six percent of the maximum figure.
Statistics also indicate that coronavirus cases appear to be increasing in most areas where a local lockdown is imposed, raising questions about the effectiveness of these measures in containing regionalized outbreaks.
Professor Neil Ferguson, who was instrumental in getting the government to introduce the UK-wide lockdown in March, said the situation would “probably be worse” if local restrictions were not introduced.
He said the NHS could still be overwhelmed if the cases were not stopped.
Public Health England (PHE) was recently criticized after admitting to spoiling a spreadsheet that meant 16,000 positive tests were not counted last week.
THE RATE OF SPREAD OF THE VIRUS IS INCREASING
The rate at which the coronavirus is spreading is now faster than it was in summer in all parts of England, officials have warned.
Here, too, the figures show a north-south distribution with a case rate in the north-west and north-east eight times higher than in the south-west, south-east and east of England.
The region with the highest rate is the Northwest, where there are 136.1 cases per 100,000 population, compared with the lowest rate in the Southeast where there are only 16.1 cases per 100,000 population. 100,000 inhabitants.
Professor Ferguson told BBC Radio 4: ‘We think infections are probably increasing, doubling every two weeks or so – in some areas faster than that, maybe every seven days – and in other areas more slowly. . ”
He added, “We have about 10 times lower infection rate than we were just before the initial lockdown,” but stressed that keeping new infections a secret is crucial.
“The death rate has probably gone down [since spring], we know how to treat cases better, hospitals are less stressed, we have new drugs.
“But hospital admissions, hospital beds occupied by Covid patients and deaths are all follow-up cases.
“They’re at a lower level, but they’re basically doubling every two weeks and we just can’t keep that going indefinitely.
“The NHS will be overwhelmed again and you will be able to see what is happening in Paris and what is happening in Madrid and the measures there.
“The hospitals are gradually overwhelmed. More than half of ICU beds [there] are now Covid patients and their death toll is increasing inexorably. ”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has acknowledged that the northern regions, Scotland and Wales are the driving forces behind the UK’s second wave.
He told the House of Commons: “Here in the UK, the number of hospitalizations is now at its highest since mid-June.
“Last week, the ONS [Office for National Statistics] said that while the rate of increase may be declining, the number of cases continues to rise. Yesterday [Sunday] there were 12,594 new positive cases.
“The increase is more localized than the first time around, with cases increasing particularly strongly in the North East and North West of England, and parts of Scotland, Wales and Ireland North.
“Today more than ever – with winter ahead – we all need to stay vigilant and get this virus under control.
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Figures from Scotland and Wales show they are proportionately more affected than most of England, with the number of patients hospitalized in Wales at 24 percent of the levels seen during the peak.
However, numbers are much lower in Scotland and Wales, and combined they only have 393 patients in hospital – less than in the Midlands, North East or North West England. .
Hospital admissions in Scotland are at around 12 percent of peak levels.