Number of Covid patients in Suffolk and north Essex hospitals falls

More than a dozen new beds have been added at Newmarket Hospital in west Suffolk Picture: JAMES GOF

There were fewer patients in hospital beds in Suffolk in the most recent week of data compared to the week before. - Credit: JAMES GOFFIN/WEST SUFFOLK NHS

The number of patients with Covid-19 in Suffolk and north Essex hospitals has fallen slightly in the past week.

There was also a record number of reported coronavirus cases in a single day in Suffolk in the past week, with more than 1,000 cases reported for the first time on December 15.

There were 63 patients with Covid in East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) hospital beds, down from 77 the week before.

For West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (WSFT) this figure rose from 19 to 22.

Across England, 1,098 admissions were recorded on December 21, up 35% week-on-week and the highest number for a single day since February 18.

The highest admission during the second-wave was 4,134 on January 12.

There were 40 admissions in the latest week of data, up to December 19, at ESNEFT hospitals and 25 for WSFT.

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Publishing preliminary findings of its research into the new variant, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said Omicron appears to result in less severe disease for those infected with it.

However, the agency warned that the new strain is more transmissible than previous variants such as Delta, and could still lead to significant numbers of people needing hospital treatment over coming weeks.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid welcomed the latest data as "promising" but urged the public to remain cautious over the Christmas break, adding it was "still too early to determine next steps".

According to analysis by the UKHSA, the risk of hospital admission for an identified case with Omicron is reduced compared with a case of Delta.

Someone with Omicron is estimated to be as much as 70% less likely to be admitted to hospital.

However, Omicron is believed to be infecting more people who have previously had Covid, with 9.5% of people with Omicron having had it before.

The faster rate of transmission than Delta may mean that a large number of people are likely to require hospital admission, leading to a large amount of pressure on the NHS.

Earlier this week Dr Angela Tillett, chief medical officer at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The number of people with COVID-19 admitted to our hospitals is stable this week, however we are expecting to see an increase as infection rates rise in the community."

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