Number of people in hospital with Covid-19 Indian variant not rising significantly, says NHS boss

Covid-19 Indian variant

Number of people in hospital with Covid-19 Indian variant not rising significantly, says NHS boss

The number of people currently in hospital with the Covid-19 Indian variant, now known as the Delta variant, is rising but not ‘very significantly’, according to the boss of NHS Providers Chris Hopson.

He said that many people in hospital in Bolton – the area worst hit by the variant – were younger, with “very few” fully vaccinated patients.

“Infection rates have been increasing in a number of different places. We know that the hospitalisations are increasing, the rates of people coming into hospital in those areas are rising. But they are not rising very significantly,” Mr Hopson said.

He added that in the latest phase of the pandemic, the number of people in hospital in Bolton with Covid-19 had not gone past 50, compared with a peak of 170 in November.

He said this appeared to show vaccines had “broken the chain” between infection and serious illness.

Mr Hopson said that in Bolton, people in hospital with Covid were “a lot younger” than patients in earlier stages of the pandemic, which meant there was “less demand on critical care”.

He added that there were “very, very few” people in hospital who had had both doses of a Covid vaccine, as they had the “build-up of protection after those jabs”.

Chris Hopson

Public Health England has said that the Delta variant is now the most dominant strain of Covid-19 in the UK, with the number of confirmed cases rising by 79% over the last week to 12,431.

According to PHE, the most affected area of the country is north-west England, with confirmed cases in Bolton rising by 795 over the past week to 2,149.

At next week’s G7 summit of world leaders, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will reportedly urge his counterparts to pledge to vaccinate the world’s population against coronavirus by 2022, saying it would be “the single greatest feat in medical history”.

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