According to data published on Friday by NHS England, of the 8,321 patients with the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus in NHS acute hospital trusts in England on Friday, 5,578 (67 percent) were being treated primarily for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
This is down from 71 percent a week earlier. The percentage has fluctuated slightly between 72 percent and 76 percent since October before starting to drop since mid-December.
But the number being treated primarily for coronavirus is still rising—up 26 percent from 4,432 on Dec. 21 to 5,578 on Dec. 28.
The statistics also show that the number of patients with COVID-19 but primarily being treated for something else also rose from 1,813 to 2,743, a jump of 51 percent.
NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson said that trust leaders were reporting that a lot of the patients being admitted were coming in with, rather than because of, COVID-19, but he urged caution because the impact of the infections on older people during Christmas and New Year is yet to be reflected in data.
“A lot of the earlier infections have involved younger people, though mixing at Christmas and New Year is likely to change that. We’ll need to follow that very closely,” he said.
NHS England has said that COVID-19 patients primarily being treated for something else still have to be separated from non-COVID-19 patients and the virus can be “a significant co-morbidity.”
“While the admission may be due to another primary condition, in many instances this may have been as a result of contracting COVID in the community. For example, research has shown that people with COVID are more likely to have a stroke. In these cases people would be admitted for the stroke, classified as ‘with’ COVID despite having had a stroke as a result of having COVID,” the statement reads.
NHS England figures show there were 11,452 people in hospital in England with COVID-19 as of 8 a.m. on Thursday, up 61 percent from a week earlier and the highest number since Feb. 26.
During the second wave of CCP virus infections, the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals in England peaked at 34,336 on January 18.
The data also shows there were 2,082 new COVID-19 hospital admissions in England on Tuesday, up 90 percent week on week and the highest number since Feb. 3.
It is also more than half the peak of 4,134 COVID-19 hospital admissions reported on Jan. 12 during the second wave of CCP virus infections.
The number of COVID-19 admissions includes people admitted to hospitals in the previous 24 hours who were known to have COVID-19, plus patients diagnosed with COVID-19 in hospitals in the previous 24 hours.
PA contributed to this report.