How many people are in hospital now compared to when we first went into lockdown?
PUBLISHED: 08:37 13 October 2020 | UPDATED: 08:38 14 October 2020
The number of patients currently in the region’s hospitals with Covid-19 is higher now than when the country was first put into lockdown.
A total of 19 inpatients were newly diagnosed with coronavirus across Ipswich and Colchester hospitals in the week to Sunday, October 11, with all but one cared for at the latter.
This is up from the 13 people diagnosed with the virus in the week to Monday, March 23, when the first national lockdown was introduced.
There are seven confirmed Covid patients in West Suffolk Hospital now, compared with two on the day we went into lockdown.
However, there have not been as many deaths recently.
By March 23, the virus had claimed the lives of six people across both trusts. The latest death at Ipswich and Colchester (run by the East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust) was recorded in July, while West Suffolk recorded a fatality more recently, on October 2.
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The numbers of patients on ventilators is also still far below what they were at the peak – at ESNEFT, there were 34 people in need of mechanical ventilation on April 18.
According to NHS data from the beginning of this month, there was one person on a ventilator at ESNEFT as of October 1.
Public Health England data published on Monday reveals that across the east, which stretches as far as Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, there were 16 patients on ventilators as of Sunday, October 11.
There were 137 patients in hospital with coronavirus across the region, with 19 admitted on Sunday alone.
This is an increase on the previous week when 94 patients were admitted with Covid and 14 were on ventilators.
But it is still nowhere near levels seen at the peak, with 143 virus patients cared for across ESNEFT alone on April 27.
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Admissions to hospitals in north west England, which has the highest rates, has skyrocketed in recent weeks.
There were 1,218 coronavirus patients in North West hospitals as of Sunday, up from 816 the previous week, and 914 in the North East and Yorkshire, up from 572.
NHS England’s medical director, Professor Stephen Powis, said hospitals are coming under increasing pressure as he announced plans for three temporary Nightingale hospitals to mobilise to deal with any surge in admissions.
He expressed particular concern for hospitals in the North West and North East, and said they could end up treating more patients than they did during the peak of the first wave of Covid-19.
It came as Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust chief executive Steve Warburton told staff in a memo that it had reached a “critical point”.
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