The surge in Covid cases is believed to be linked to the Jubilee Bank holiday mix, new BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants and declining immunity among those over 75 who have not had a spring vaccine booster
A summer surge of Covid added to the gridlock in hospitals as the NHS waiting list hit a record 6.5million.
The UK Health Security Agency said today there had been a spike in Covid outbreaks and hospitalizations in the past week.
There were 221 recorded outbreaks in Britain, up from 96 the previous week. Of these, 153 were in care homes and this was an increase from 67.
The surge is believed to be linked to the Jubilee Bank holiday mix, new BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, and waning immunity among those over 75 who did not have a booster. spring vaccine.
UKHSA Director Dr Mary Ramsay said: “After a period of low case rates, we are now seeing an increase in outbreaks in care homes and hospitalizations among people aged 80 and over.
“As we enter the summer, it is always important to remember that Covid-19 has not gone away and to get vaccinated to reduce the risk of becoming seriously ill with the virus. If you are not yet up to date with your jabs, please show up now – it’s not too late to protect yourself.”
The UKHSA said the hospital admission rate was 6.10 per 100,000 people, down from 4.65 the previous week.
Covid admissions were highest in the North East.
It comes as new NHS data showed patients having to wait more than a year to start hospital treatment stood at 323,093 in April, up from 306,286 the previous month.
The overall waitlist for elective procedures such as hip surgeries reached 6.5 million, up from 6.4 million the previous month.
The unprecedented backlog comes after more than a decade of below-average funding increases for the NHS which was then battered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Professor Sir Stephen Powis, National Medical Director of NHS England, said: “There is no doubt that the NHS still faces pressure – including a further rise in the number of Covid patients.”
Every day, some 12,000 patients remained stuck in hospital despite being well enough to be discharged due to overwhelming pressure on social services.
While the overall NHS waiting list continues to grow, data for some of the longest waits has shown some improvement.
A total of 12,735 people in England were waiting more than two years to start routine hospital treatment at the end of April, NHS England said.
That’s down from 16,796 at the end of March, but it’s almost five times the 2,608 people who were waiting more than two years in April 2021.
Some 19,053 people had to wait more than 12 hours in A&E departments in England in May after a decision to admit they were indeed admitted.
The figure is down from a record high of 24,138 in April.