Covid cases across the UK have continued to decline, after indications that the Omicron wave may be past its peak in parts of the country – but hospitals are still feeling the pressure.
A total of 120,821 cases were recorded on Tuesday, down significantly from 142,224 on Monday and 218,724 a week ago.
While reporting of Covid infections data fluctuated over the New Year period, the 1,103,660 cases recorded in the past seven days mark a fall of 13.1 per cent week-on-week.
Cases appear to be in decline across many regions of England, days after Professor Kevin Fenton, the UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA) regional director for London, confirmed: “We think we may have passed or are at the peak.”
Cases are continuing to rise in the North East, however, and deaths continue to rise, with 379 deaths within 28 days of positive test recorded on Tuesday.
Hospitalisations, which typically lag around three weeks behind case numbers, have continued to grow, with 19,828 people in hospital with Covid-19.
The crisis in hospitals appears a long way from reaching a conclusion, with University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust becoming the latest to postpone some non-urgent operations and redeploy staff due to Omicron pressures.
A spokesperson said: “Pressures have been rising across the Trust over the last few weeks and we now believe we are seeing the predicted surge hospitals all across the country have been preparing for.
“We are seeing significant, ongoing pressure on our A&E departments with high demand on our services and challenges managing flow across our hospitals.”
“We are also seeing unprecedented delays in discharges due to a lack of capacity across our local NHS and social care services, combined with a high number of staff absent due to Covid, which is putting further pressure on the number of available inpatient beds.”