Hospital beds occupied by Covid patients have risen by 37 per cent as experts warn the UK has entered its fifth wave.
The number of Covid-positive patients in hospitals in England has risen to 7,822, more than 2,000 in a week.
As of Monday, the number of critical care patients rose to 192, up from 150 the previous week, according to NHS data.
The figures come as experts warned the NHS could be overwhelmed.
Professor Tim Spector, from the ZOE Covid symptom survey app, said The Independent: “We’re on a wave right now… heading towards a quarter of a million cases a day, that’s already a wave…
“Having our NHS, which is already on its knees, running like it’s the dead of winter, we’re getting up to 1,000 hospitalizations a day now, it’s not good news, that number is going to increase.”
The surge in Covid patients in hospitals comes amid broader pressures on NHS beds, such as late discharges, which are driving record waits at A&E.
Covid cases in the community have risen sharply in recent weeks, with figures from last week showing 1.7 million people tested positive across the UK, a 23 per cent increase from the previous week. . The rise is being driven by Omicron’s recent BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants.
Professor Spector warned that big summer events like Glastonbury and Notting Hill Carnival could have a big effect on covid rates.
According to an analysis by John Roberts, a Covid-19 data expert with the Covid Actuaries Response Group, the weekly growth rate of admissions hit 40 percent on Monday, compared to 30 percent growth the week before. pass.
He said on Twitter: “To put that growth rate into context, we are now a doubling away from the spikes we saw for BA.1 and BA.2 admissions earlier this year. That would represent the third such spike in six months, much faster than previous waves.”
On Friday, the Commons scientific committee published a letter from Health Secretary Sajid Javid on June 9 saying that while the UK is “well positioned” to deal with future variants of Covid “a response of contingency”.
Setting out the details of his contingency response, he said he could scale up universal Covid testing within four weeks, should ministers decide it is necessary.
The letter said the UK Health Security Agency could increase PCR tests to between 100,000 and 140,000 a day in two weeks and re-implement contact tracing in 21 days.
In response to the rise in Covid cases on Monday, a government spokesperson said: “We are obviously seeing the emergence of two Omicron variants, which are likely to be the main cause of the rise in cases. The latest data suggests that these are now the dominant strains in the UK.
“But so far vaccination means that those rising cases have not translated into an increase in serious illness or deaths without an increase in intensive care unit admissions.
“Unsurprisingly, UKHSA continues to assess all available data. Some time ago we established the plan for living with Covid and we will continue to use that plan and see how we can provide more protection to people later this year with things like reinforcements, which we have talked about previously.