How many people are in hospital now compared to the first lockdown?
PUBLISHED: 12:13 04 November 2020 | UPDATED: 15:29 04 November 2020
There are three times as many people in hospital with Covid in the run-up to the second lockdown compared to the first time around, it has emerged.
Latest NHS data shows 72 beds were occupied by coronavirus patients across the region’s three main hospitals on October 27.
That is almost double the 37 recorded just 10 days earlier on October 17.
During the week of the first lockdown, on March 26, a total of 19 patients were in hospital with Covid, although testing was less widespread then.
Between them, larger hospitals Ipswich and Colchester - run by the East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) - had 63 beds occupied by Covid patients on October 27, up from 15 in March.
It means that currently, Covid patients account for around 5.4% of total beds at the trust, up from 3.3% on October 20.
Meanwhile, West Suffolk Hospital had nine beds occupied by virus patients on the same date in October (2.1% of total beds) – compared with four on March 26.
MORE: Mapped – Which Suffolk neighbourhoods have the highest and lowest Covid-19 infection rates?
Coronavirus deaths at our hospitals are also higher than they were before the first lockdown.
Between October 15 and November 1, 25 deaths have been recorded across ESNEFT.
Trust bosses say all of these fatalities happened at Colchester Hospital - with 15 of them recorded in just seven days (October 26-November 1).
Colchester’s infection rate has soared in recent weeks, with the town regularly recording more than 100 cases per 100,000 people.
Ipswich, which has also seen its infection rate rise, is yet to record any hospital deaths since July, while West Suffolk recorded two in the week to November 1.
In the week of the first lockdown, five people died across ESNEFT, while one person died with Covid-19 at West Suffolk.
Five people are currently on ventilators at ESNEFT, with one patient in a ventilator bed at West Suffolk.
MORE: Suffolk close to Tier 2 before national lockdown, Public Health Suffolk confirms
The number of patients admitted with the virus is also much higher across all three hospitals, which is expected given the increase in NHS testing.
Just three people are recorded as being admitted to ESNEFT up to March 25, with zero at West Suffolk.
That is compared with 64 in the week to October 25 at ESNEFT and nine at West Suffolk.
In the last seven days, 523 people have tested positive for the virus in Suffolk.
No mass testing was available in the week leading up to the first lockdown, and Government data shows there were 45 positive tests in Suffolk in the seven days to March 23.
Care home deaths in Suffolk also reached a grim milestone in the past fortnight, with three more fatalities recorded in mid-October, bringing the death toll since April to 200.
MORE: How prepared are our care homes for a second wave of Covid?
In the week to October 25, five of the hospital admissions to ESNEFT were from care homes, with one care home admission to West Suffolk in that period.
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