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COVID-19 hospital cases expected to rise

Published on 04/07/22 at 10:30am

The CEO of UKSHA has said that the number of people being admitted to hospital with COVID-19 is expected to rise further. Dame Jenny Harries has warned that this could have an impact on treating other patients.

Dame Jenny’s warning comes after figures showed that UK COVID-19 cases jumped by 32% in a week. People are being encouraged to “go about their normal lives” but in a “precautionary way”.

Almost 9,000 hospital beds were taken up with COVID-19 patients on 30 June, which is a doubling of admissions since the start of the month. Data from the other UK nations is not as up to date.

According to new ONS figures, COVID-19 infections were up by about 500,000 cases last week. This is being driven by two new fast-spreading sub-variants of the Omicron variant, called BA.4 and BA.5. An estimated 2.3 million people, or one in 30, has COVID-19.

Dame Jenny told the BBC's Sunday Morning programme: "It doesn't look as though that wave has finished yet, so we would anticipate that hospital cases will rise."

"For this particular wave we have some evidence there may be some slight reduction of the effectiveness of vaccines on variants, but they are still maintaining the majority of people, keeping them safe from severe disease and out of hospital."

The JCVI has recommended that the NHS and care homes prepare for an autumn booster campaign, which is likely to start in September. In May, the committee said that another round of boosters should be offered to those most vulnerable to COVID-19 before the winter. Under the advice, further boosters will be provided to residents and staff at care homes, frontline health and social workers, all those aged 65 and over, and at-risk adults aged 16 to 64.

Lina Adams

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