Several hospitals across England have seen the number of coronavirus admissions surge past levels seen in the first wave of the pandemic, newly released data shows.
Statistics compiled by Public Health England (PHE), shown to cabinet ministers last week ahead of Saturday’s lockdown announcement, shows there are currently scores of hospitals dealing with over 100 COVID positive inpatients.
The graph shows that the number of coronavirus patients at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Trust in Yorkshire and Blackpool Hospital Trust exceeded their first wave peak on 19 October.
Liverpool University Hospital Foundation Trust was next worst hit, with patients passing the highest first wave levels a day later on 20 October.
Several other hospitals, mainly in the north of England, have reported exceedingly high levels of coronavirus in the past week.
In total, 24 hospitals reported COVID patient levels at over half their previous peak during the first wave of the pandemic.
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On Friday, figures released by the government showed that more than 10,000 Covid-19 patients are now being treated in hospitals across the UK.
But the number has yet to reach the 20,000 seen at the height of the first wave of the pandemic earlier this year.
Liverpool University Hospitals Foundation Trust had the highest number of beds occupied by coronavirus patients in England on Tuesday at 450, according to NHS England data.
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Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust in Greater Manchester was second on the list with 290 inpatients.
In Nottinghamshire, which has been subject to Tier 3 lockdown restrictions, the number of hospitalisations is 40 per cent higher than those seen in April.
And in Greater Manchester, most hospital trusts there will reportedly exceed their critical care capacity by next week due to high COVID-19 hospital admissions.
The county’s public health director Jonathan Gribbin said “even a well-organised NHS and care system will struggle to cope” with the sharp rise in patients in the county’s hospitals.
It comes as advisors from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) said on Friday that England has breached its “reasonable worst-case” scenario for COVID-19 infections and hospital admissions.
Sage also warned that the number of daily deaths in England is in line with that scenario, but “is almost certain to exceed this within the next two weeks”.