COVID hospitalisations up almost 30 percent in Britain

COVID cases are rising sharply, with hundreds of deaths still reported weekly. Latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures published this week but based on the situation nearly three weeks ago in the seven days to December 9, estimate 1.4 million people in private UK households testing positive for the virus. This is up from 1.1 million infections a week previous.

Sarah Crofts, ONS deputy director for infection survey analysis, said, “Today’s data show that Covid-19 infections have risen for the fourth consecutive week in England, with cases also continuing to rise in Scotland.

“Over half of English regions saw an increase, while it’s a mixed picture for different ages. Infections have increased among most adults under 70, while secondary school-age children experienced a decrease in infections.”

The highest level of infection was in Scotland with around one in 40 people (130,900) estimated to be testing positive, a rise from the one in 60 at the end of November. In England, 1.2 million people were estimated to have COVID, one in 45 people and up from one in 60 at the end of November.

The ZOE COVID Study app, the world’s largest ongoing study of COVID, with more up-to-date figures, reported over 3.3 million current infections in Britain on December 26. ZOE app users also recorded 265,000 new infections on the same day. The study had its funding removed by the Conservative government months ago.

A graph designed by Twitter user Dr. Joe Patak showing in the top right 3.3 million current infections in Britain on December 26,. This figure is from the ZOE COVID Study app, as opposed to the 1.1 million infections estimated by the ONS. ZOE app users also recorded over 265,000 new infections on the same day. [Photo: @JoePajak/Twitter]

COVID cases are rising more than 17 months since the pandemic was declared over by then Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Everyone was told to “learn to live with the virus” by the government, and even more grotesquely to “live well with COVID” by the Labour Party opposition.

Since that date nearly 60,000 more people have died from the disease. According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University and available on Our World in Data, total deaths in Britain from COVID stand at 213,249. The government’s own tally of fatalities, measured as someone dying within 28 days of a positive COVID test, will soon pass 200,000 (currently 198,937).

The ONS data was released before the start of the Christmas holiday season, when millions met with their families throughout Britain and vast numbers of shoppers gathered in city centres and indoor shopping venues for the winter sales. Such gatherings are proven super-spreader events. Yet more infections will be recorded as the New Year festivities take place.

Scientists fear that a new COVID mutation circulating in the UK, the BQ1 variant of Omicron, could lead to a flood of new cases in a winter that has been mild so far. At the beginning of December, BQ1 made up around half of all cases in the UK, compared to 39 percent the previous week.

As of November 30, according to NHS England, 4,964 people were in hospital after testing positive for COVID—an 8 percent rise on the previous week. Hospitalisations have surged in the month since. According to the ONS, 8,643 people were in hospital with COVID in England alone on December 21. This was an increase of 29 percent week-on-week and the highest total since late October.

While the government and mainstream media no longer publicise any data that conflicts with the “the pandemic is over” narrative, on December 23 Twitter user Tigress @tigresseleanor reported, “#COVID19 hospital admissions continued to increase to 9.56 per 100,000 people in the week ending 18 December 2022. The number of deaths involving #COVID19 increased to 380 in the week ending 9 December 2022.”

Children continue to be infected by COVID and to die from the disease. The previous day the account tweeted, “There were 462 Covid cases reported in 0-4 year olds. 191 children 0-5 were admitted to hospital with Covid. Under reported cases or more severe in 0-5 ?”

The same day Tigress tweeted, “Sadly gov.uk/UKHSA [UK Health Security Agency] report the deaths of another 2 children with Covid.” This brought the number of UK child COVID deaths to 228 (England 205, Scotland 16, Wales 5, Northern Ireland 2).

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On December 24, Tigress tweeted, “If we follow last year which we appear to be doing, Covid admissions double around 28th/29th & remain high until mid January. Last year deaths increased around the 30th to 150-200 per day, variants are different this year perhaps more severe.”

The surge in COVID cases, amid rising flu admissions, is putting enormous additional pressure on the National Health Service. Earlier this month, Sky News reported, “Hospital admissions for flu in England have overtaken admissions for COVID-19 for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began.” Flu admissions to hospital were at the highest level for the last four winters. It cited UKHSA data showing “the rate of flu admissions was 6.8 per 100,000 people in the week to 11 December, compared to 6.6 per 100,000 for COVID-19.”

On December 20, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust declared a “critical incident” due to “immense pressure on its services”. Citing “exceptionally high levels of occupancy, growing pressure on our services and unprecedented attendances” at the A&E department of the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan, it tweeted, “Our A&E is full. Do not attend, unless you have a life or limb-threatening emergency.”

A critical incident was also declared at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust. Its emergency department was “full with patients that need admission,” with only “limited space to treat patients with life-threatening conditions and injuries”.

Hospital staff treating a COVID patient in the intensive care unit at the Royal Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, England [AP Photo/Neil Hall]

Due to the government’s criminal pandemic policy of infecting as many people as possible, and its abandoning of all COVID safety measures within the space of a few months in 2021, millions of people are suffering from Long COVID. According to the ONS, in December an estimated 2.2 million people (3.4 percent of the population) were afflicted with Long COVID. Over half (1.2 million people) are estimated to have had the condition for over a year.

This week, leading scientist Professor John Drury of the University of Sussex denounced the government for implementing policies that directly led to so much suffering. Drury is a member the Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (SPI-B)—a sub-committee of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) which advised the government throughout the pandemic. He spoke to the inews website which reported, “After many Covid restrictions were eased in April 2021, SPI-B advised the Government to continue with ‘policies that promote Covid-19 protective behaviour’”.

Prof Drury said, “Had the recommendations been implemented there would have been fewer people with Covid and therefore fewer people with long Covid…

“They’ve thrown the clinically vulnerable under a bus and made the judgement that it’s ok for two million people to have long Covid. For a significant minority of that two million, this is a highly debilitating condition that has ruined their lives.”

Nothing is being allowed to remain in place that in any way mitigates the spread of the disease or even acknowledges that it exists. From January 6, 2023, the UKHSA Epidemiology Modelling Review Group will no longer publish any more COVID modelling data, including critical updates on the virus’s R (Reproduction) number.