Covid patients in hospital at highest level since April as coronavirus cases hit four-month high

THE number of Covid patients in hospital across the UK has risen to its highest level for nearly two months.

It follows a rise in infections across the country, with new daily cases reaching their highest level since February today.

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A total of 1,378 patients were in hospital on June 20, according to the latest Government figures.

The figure is up 21 per cent from the previous week, and is the highest since April 29. 

It is also up 58 per cent from the 870 patients recorded on May 27, which was the lowest number since the second wave of the virus. 

The figures, which are crucial in determining when England will unlock, are still well below those recorded at the peak of the second wave.

But they are joined by growing infection rates – with new daily infections today – 11,625 – reaching a four-month high.

Speaking to Radio 4's Today programme on Tuesday morning – before the latest figures on hospital patients and cases were announced – Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the data was "looking encouraging" for July 19, when coronavirus restrictions are expected to be further eased in England. 

"We will watch vigilantly and we will look at the data, in particular at the start of next week," he added. 

Separate figures show the number of hospital admissions of Covid-19 patients in the UK stood at 225 on June 16.

This is up 21% week-on-week, and is almost three times the post-second wave low of 78 admissions on May 16.

The last time daily admissions were higher than 225 was more than two months ago, on April 7.

Downing Street said today that a decision on whether to unlock earlier than July 19 – on July 5 – will be announced on Monday.

The Prime Minister spent the day poring over crucial data, as his official spokesperson said: "Monday will be the day when we were deciding on the decision on that and we are closely monitoring the data, ahead of providing a full update.

"We will set out very clearly to the public, the rationale for the decision we've made."

It came as 11,625 new Covid cases were recorded today, bringing the total number of infections in Britain since the start of the pandemic to 4,651,988.

It was the highest daily rise since February 19 when 12,027 new cases were reported.

Daily Covid deaths also rose by 27 – bringing the total number of Covid victims to 128,008.

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