Covid numbers rise in hospital, but only two patients on ventilators

Colchester Hospital. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The number of patients in hospital with coronavirus has risen in the last month - Credit: Archant

The number of patients in local hospitals with Covid-19 has continued to rise since the beginning of March - but only two are on ventilators, according to new figures.

Government data indicates the East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which runs Ipswich and Colchester hospitals, is currently treating 300 patients who have coronavirus. This is up from 79 patients at the start of March.

In addition to this, the number of patients with Coronavirus being treated by West Suffolk Foundation Trust has increased from 26 to 82 in the same period. 

Andrew Gibbins died on the A14 after leaving the West Suffolk Hospital site Picture: SARAH LUCY BROW

The number of patients in West Suffolk Hospital with coronavirus has increased from 28 to 82 patients over the last month. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The data shows only 42% of patients with Covid in hospital are being primarily treated for it, rather than another condition. Only two are currently being ventilated.

This comes as the rate of people with Covid in hospitals across England rises to the highest it has been since January 2021.

Admissions among older adults continue to drive the increase, with all age groups over 65 recording rates last seen during the second wave of the virus in the early weeks of last year.

By contrast, rates for children and young adults are still well below the level reached at the beginning of 2022.

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The overall Covid-19 hospital admission rate for England stood at 20.5 per 100,000 people in the week ending April 3, according to the UK Health Surveillance Agency.

It is the fifth successive weekly increase and means total admissions are now running at a higher rate than at the peak of the original Omicron wave at the start of January this year (19.9).

The rate is still some way below the all-time high of 36 per 100,000 in the first week of January 2021.

This steady rise in recent weeks is another sign of the impact of the latest surge of infections, which is being driven by the Omicron BA.2 variant.

The number of people in hospitals seriously ill with Covid-19 remains low however with only 317 patients across the country in mechanical ventilator beds—  this is substantially less than the level reached at the beginning of this year (797) and far below the total at the start of 2021 (3,736).