There may have been as many as 5,000 Covid-infected patients admitted to hospitals in England for various ailments. These figures are from the NHS.

Latest data shows so-called ‘incidental’ cases — those who test positive after admission for something else, such as a broken leg — made up a third of coronavirus inpatient numbers on December 28.

There were only 8,300 Covid-infected people being treated at hospitals in England, and 2,750 were not receiving primary care (33%) 

More up-to-date statistics from the Government’s Covid dashboard show that, as of Wednesday, there were 15,600 beds occupied by people infected with the virus. 

Because the NHS has a backdated breakdown, it is unclear how many current patients have been referred to Covid. It only covers December 28. 

However, even though incidental cases account for only a third, that means at most 5,000 people who have been diagnosed as coronavirus sufferers aren’t seriously ill.

Experts say there is reason to believe the share of incidentals will continue to rise as Omicron pushes England’s infection rates to record numbers, with one in 15 people estimated to have had Covid on New Year’s Eve.

In South Africa — ground zero of the Omicron outbreak — up to 60 per cent of Covid patients were not admitted primarily for the virus at the height of the crisis there. 

A separate analysis of NHS data revealed that 45 percent of the beds occupied in December by Covid patients was not due to the fact that they were primary ill with the virus. 

It comes as two dozen NHS trusts declared ‘critical incidents’ amid staggering staffing shortages caused by sky-high infection rates, indicating that they may be unable to provide vital care in the coming weeks. 

One in ten workers are off and 183,000 Brits are being sent into isolation every day on average, prompting calls for the isolation period to be cut to five days. 

The proportion of beds occupied by patients who are primarily in hospital 'for' Covid, versus those who were admitted for something else and tested positive later, referred to as 'with' Covid. The data looks at (55 per cent). That suggests 45 per cent were not seriously ill with Covid, yet were counted in the official statistics. In the South East of England 66 per cent were primarily non-Covid, in the East of England it was 51 per cent and in London it was 48 per cent. Critics argue, however, that the figures are unreliable because they don't include discharges, which could skew the data. But they add to the growing trend

It is the percentage of hospital beds that are used by Covid-positive patients versus those admitted with another reason. The data covers the week between December 21 and December 28, when were around 2,100 additional beds occupied by the virus in England — of which 1,150 were primary illness (55 per cent). This means that 45 percent of those who were not diagnosed with Covid were still included in official statistics. The South East of England had 66% of non-Covid patients, while the East of England was 51% and London was 48%. Critics claim that these figures don’t account for discharges which can skew data. These figures are a part of the rising trend. 

Latest figures show that hospitals in England have actually had fewer beds occupied this winter than they did pre-Covid. An average of 89,097 general and acute beds were open each day in the week to December 26, of which 77,901 were occupied. But the NHS was looking after more hospital patients in the week to December 26 in 2019, 2018 and 2017

According to recent figures, hospitals in England had actually fewer beds this winter that they did before the introduction of Covid. On average, 89,097 acute and general beds were opened each day during the week up to December 26. Of these, 77,901 were occupied. The NHS looked after more patients during the week of December 26, 2018, and 2017.

While Covid hospitalisations are rising quickly in England, they are still half of the level of last January and far fewer patients are needing ventilation

Covid hospitalisations have been increasing rapidly in England. However, this is still only half the number of January last year. Patients are not needing ventilation as much.

A total of 24 out of 137 NHS Trusts in England have declared critical incidents — or 17.5 per cent — due to soaring staff absences amid the Omicron outbreak. Above are the trusts that have publicly announced they have declared these incidents to help them manage winter pressures

A total of 24 out of 137 NHS Trusts in England have declared critical incidents — or 17.5 per cent — due to soaring staff absences amid the Omicron outbreak. Below are the names of trusts who have publically declared such incidents to assist with winter pressures

The number of daily positive Covid tests recorded in England has exceeded 100,000 for two weeks. However, the number of patients in hospital with the virus is a fraction of the level seen last winter, while deaths remain flat

For the past two weeks, there have been more than 100,000 positive Covid test results in England daily. The number of people in hospitals with this virus remains at a fraction the rate seen last winter. However, deaths are still low.

The proportion of Covid beds in the NHS occupied by patients primarily being treated for the virus is decreasing and has fallen sharply since mid-December. The NHS' breakdown is backdated and currently only covers up to December 28.

Since mid-December, the proportion of NHS Covid beds occupied by people who are primarily being treated with the virus has been declining. The NHS is currently not covered beyond December 28, and the breakdown of its coverage can be reverted to.

In England a third of of total Covid patients were incidental on that date. While the number of patients primarily ill with Covid is increasing the proportion of incidental patients is rising

A third of all Covid patients in England were accidental on the date. The proportion of Covid patients who are primarily covid-ill is on the rise, but the incidence rate is also rising

MailOnline was informed by Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter at Cambridge University. He said that incidental cases were a result of the current high number of infections.

He stated that incidental Covid may have increased due to people contracting Covid in hospital.

“But, we know from reliable sources that Omicron produces milder diseases than Delta. However, it still can affect certain people severely.” 

24 NHS trusts now declare serious incidents, patient waiting lists hit 6MILLION 

Twenty-four NHS trusts have now declared ‘critical incidents’ due to staff shortages and rising Covid admissions, it was revealed today — but ministers have downplayed the warnings and insisted it is not unusual for hospitals to face winter crises amid growing hopes that the Omicron outbreak is close to peaking.

Grant Shapps revealed that another four sites hit “panic” overnight. That means approximately a fifth (137) of England’s trusts are now saying they might not be in a position to offer critical care for the next week.

However, the Transport Secretary dismissed the warnings by saying that it isn’t unusual for hospitals in winter to be critical. However, he acknowledged that there were’very real and serious pressures’.

Although the official list has yet to be released, there are some trusts that have already raised concerns, including the NHS sites at Blackpool and Plymouth. The health bosses at the NHS have requested that heart attack victims make their way to hospitals, despite being unable to perform non-urgent surgeries.

Trusts declaring critical incidents — the highest level of alert — can ask staff on leave or on rest days to return to wards, and enables them to receive help from nearby hospitals.

It comes as MPs warned the patient waiting list — which already stands on the brink of 6million in England alone — could double in three years without urgent action to get more doctors and nurses on wards, saying efforts to clear the backlog are being thrown off course by the self-isolation fuelled staffing crisis. NHS leaders have asked No10 for a reduction in quarantine to 5 days. This is similar to the US.

Boris Johnson, despite warnings from NHS officials about rising pressures on the wards and with one-tenth of all medics believed to be sickly, last night almost ruled out a second lockdown. He still hoped for a return to normality within weeks.

The Prime Minister, despite being asked to tighten Omicron restrictions, has remained composed, much like his counterparts from Scotland and Wales. He also did not impose any new limitations over holidays. This won him the praise of Tory MPs.

A raft of data has suggested that the outbreak in London — the first region to fall victim to the ultra-transmissible strain — may have already peaked. Statisticians have estimated that up to 10% of Londoners were infected by the virus on New Year’s Eve.

Although cases are rising in London’s over-60s, experts predict that the trend will change in the coming week. The number of infections per day in the UK increased by just 6.6% over the week that ended yesterday.

Official data showed that there had been 15,659 Covid patients admitted to English hospitals yesterday. This is an increase of 51 percent in one week. 

However, this is less than half the number of inpatients at the peak of January last year (33,000). Ministers are confident that there will be no additional restrictions. 

Although the NHS will release an updated breakdown tomorrow of incidental and primary inpatients, this report only covers January 3.

Experts, Tory MPs and experts have urged the Government to distinguish between primary and second-line Covid patients in daily numbers for transparency.

MailOnline previously heard from Dr Raghib Al Ali, an epidemiologist in Cambridge who said that the data would prove to be “not only useful but also essential” in understanding the true strain on the NHS.

Omicron has been accepted as unlikely to cause severe illnesses like those seen in the past. However, NHS leaders now believe that isolation and absence of staff are central problems they have to face.

A separate analysis of NHS data suggests that almost half of those who contributed to the increase in Covid infection in hospitals before the New Year was due to other reasons.

Between December 21 and December 28, there were around 2,100 additional beds occupied by the virus in England — of which 1,150 were primary illness (55 per cent).

This means that 45 percent of the Covid-infected were not considered to be seriously ill, but were included in official statistics.

66% of the South East of England were non-Covid. In London, it was 51% and London was 48%.

Critics claim that these figures don’t account for discharges which can skew data. However, they contribute to the increasing trend.  

Meanwhile, 24 Trusts have declared “critical incidents” in England due to staff shortages.

This means that roughly one fifth of England’s 137 trusts may be unable to provide critical care over the next few weeks.

Although the official list has not been released, there are some trusts that have expressed concern, including Blackpool, Plymouth, and Bristol.

The health authorities have been forced to cancel certain non-urgent procedures and asked those suffering from heart attack to go to their nearest hospital.

Trusts declaring critical incidents — the highest level of alert — can ask staff on leave or on rest days to return to wards, and enables them to receive help from nearby hospitals.

Ministers downplayed warnings, insisting that hospitals are not likely to experience winter crises despite growing hope of an Omicron epidemic.

Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, accepted that there are ‘very real pressures’ but added: ‘It’s not entirely unusual for hospitals to go critical over the winter.’  

Latest figures show that  hospitals in England have actually had fewer beds occupied this winter than they did pre-Covid.

In the week up to December 26, there were an average of 89.097 acute and general beds open daily, of which 77.901 were occupied. The NHS looked after more patients during the week ending December 26, 2019. 

NHS England data shows that there were on average 95,917 beds available and 86,078 people occupying those weeks, for an occupancy rate of 89%.

The current data show that this is higher than the 87.4%, which suggests there may be more admissions.

Because of Norovirus-related outbreaks, nearly half of the beds have been made unavailable. It is now possible to transfer patients and allow for additional admissions.

Additionally, the NHS now has more intensive care capacity than before the pandemic. It could also open additional beds if necessary.

Only half of all Covid patients are in England’s critical-care units. There were an average of 4,079 adult critical care beds open each day in the week to December 26, but only 75 per cent of them – 3,058 – were occupied.

This compares to the occupancy rate at 79.6 percent in week ending December 26, 2019. There were an average 3,647 adult-critical care beds available and 2,903 people occupied.

On January 24 last year there were 3,736 Covid patients in intensive care in England – the highest of the pandemic – with 6,270 critical beds open for any illness.

As the drive to eliminate backlog continues, NHS wait lists are expected to double.

MPs warned that efforts to eliminate record NHS waiting list could be derailed by shortages of staff due to Covid isolation rules.

Patients are suffering from a pandemic that has had a “catastrophic effect” on them, with 6 million people still waiting to be treated in England.

The Commons Health and Social Care Committee said that lists could increase by up to 80% without the urgent need for more nurses and doctors on the wards.

It highlights the 93,000 vacant positions in the NHS. Rules requiring staff to isolate for at least one week for positive Covid tests add to this shortfall.

The committee said NHS staff are under pressure from multiple angles as they deal with routine care, Covid and soaring demand for ambulances and A&E.

MPs worry that workers may quit unless there is a ‘light at end of the tunnel,’ which could be in the form more hires.

The pandemic’s wider impact on the backlog is an enormous challenge. It includes everyone who has yet to seek care.

Members of the committee want a national plan for recovery that covers emergency, community, and social services, mental health, and GPs.

It was reported that 300,000 of the 5.8million people awaiting treatment for September 2021 have been waiting longer than a year while 12,000 have been waiting over two years.

It warns that Covid-related measures like social distancing or staff self-isolation limiting NHS capacity make it difficult to quantify the scale of the backlog.