Six in 10 hospitalised Covid ‘patients’ in London are now primarily being treated for other ailments, according to official statistics. 

The most recent figures from NHS England, which were released today, indicate that almost 3,000 beds were used by infected patients on January 18. But just 1,200 of those were not mainly unwell with coronavirus — and were being treated for other conditions. 

This proportion has been falling since the appearance of Omicron. It is consistent with claims made by doctors at the frontline, who repeatedly insist that the current surge is more mild than the previous ones. 

And the picture is similar nationally, with 7,600 of England’s 14,600 Covid ‘patients’ are primarily being treated for something else — meaning 47.9 per cent are so-called incidental cases.

Statistic from the NHS also show that absences caused by Covid in NHS staff have dropped 40% over a single week. On January 16, less than 30,000 people were ill with the virus, compared to almost 50,000 in January 5.

Daily Covid hospitalisations across the UK — the number of patients who test positive regardless of why they were admitted to hospital — have been trending downwards for 11 days. 

Milder Omicron waves saw daily hospital admissions. The total number of Covid patient in the hospital each day was about half that seen last winter.  

But the NHS says that even though incidental cases are still a problem, they can put strain on resources because they need to be separated from infected people. In recent days, around 2000 beds have been removed from service due to the measures taken to control the spread.

Doctors also warn of the possibility that Covid may worsen other illnesses that patients are being treated for. 

National NHS medical director Professor Stephen Powis warned that NHS staff face’many difficult months ahead’ because of Covid, high staff absences, and the pandemic-fueled backlog, which reached an unprecedented 6million in November.

However, downward trends in Covid data prompted ministers to lift restraints. Yesterday’s guidance on working from home was ended, and Covid passes were given for certain large events. Next Thursday, the requirement to wear masks is being removed in public areas.

Just 40.7 per cent of Covid patients in London and 52.1 per cent of those in England were primarily receiving treatment for the virus, while the remaining patients tested positive but were admitted for other reasons. The proportion is the lowest recorded since the NHS began recording the data in October and highlights the increasing number of incidental cases due to the high prevalence of the virus in the community

London’s Covid patient population was just 40.7 percent, 52.1% of England’s patients had Covid and were only receiving treatment. Patients who tested positive were still admitted to the hospital for various reasons. It is the lowest proportion since October, when data was first collected by NHS. This reflects the growing number of incidents caused by high rates of the virus within the community.

NHS England data shows 2,962 patients in hospitals across London had tested positive by January 18 (pink line). But just 1,206 — 40.7 per cent — were hospitalised because they were unwell from the virus (blue line)

NHS England data indicates that 2962 London hospital patients tested positive as of January 18. (pinkline). But just 1,206 — 40.7 per cent — were hospitalised because they were unwell from the virus (blue line)

Of the 14,588 Covid patients in hospitals across England on January 18 (pink line), just 7,605 (blue line) were primarily receiving care because they were unwell with Covid

Only 7,605 of the 14,588 Covid-infected patients who were admitted to hospitals in England by January 18 (pink lines) received care as they were not well with Covid.

NHS England data indicates that 2,962 London patients had been positive for HIV by January 18th.

But just 40.7 per cent (1,206) were hospitalised because they were severely unwell with the virus — the lowest proportion recorded since October 1 when the health service began publishing the data. 

For comparison, before super mutant Omicron took off in November, 83.8 per cent of patients who tested positive in London — the epicentre of the outbreak — were primarily receiving treatment for Covid.

UK Covid cases fell by five percent in one week. They are falling in every age bracket, except for those who have symptom-tracking surveys claims.

A symptom-tracking survey has shown that Covid cases in Britain are falling by five percent in one week. 

King’s College London scientists estimated 144,527 people were catching the virus on any given day last week, equivalent to one in 27 now having the virus. It was down by 183,364 during the seven-day period before.

They suggested that every region saw its spread shrink with only a small increase in cases among under-18s due to the “back-to-school” effect.

Professor Tim Spector is the leader of the study, which relies on daily data from 800,000. Britons. 

Numerous official statistics show that the Covid epidemic in Britain is in a downswing, with weekly cases dropping for 14 consecutive days.

Also, there are signs that hospitals may have reached the limit of their capacity. Hospital admissions seem to be trending down while Covid patient numbers on wards stagnate. Covid deaths remain static, and the number of patients admitted to intensive care has not increased.

Boris Johnson has been encouraged by the positive figures to get rid of ‘Plan B” restrictions. This includes lifting severe curbs on everyday life such as work at home or vaccination passports.

The Prime Minister has also announced — amid a round of upbeat messages following the partygate scandal — that the legal requirement to self-isolate after catching Covid would be scrapped on March 24.

Free Covid lateral flow test will end as part No10’s exit strategy from the pandemic. 

In the week following Omicron’s detection in the UK, on November 27, the proportion of Covid cases started to decline.

It fell to 75% on Christmas Eve, 66% by New Years Eve, and 55% in the first week. There were also incidental cases as the virus spread rapidly throughout the country, and thousands of infections were discovered each day.

After hospitalisation numbers in the capital increased five-fold over a one month, it caused concern. To determine whether additional restrictions are needed for Christmas, Ministers were reported to have been monitoring London’s admission rates.

And modelling from SAGE scientists indicated that hospitalisations in England could reach 3,000 per day if extra measures beyond Plan B — work from home guidance, Covid passes and face masks in shops and on transport —were not brought in.

The UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA), data indicates that daily admissions into England have dropped to around 1,800 from January 17th, after a spike of 2,370 per day on December 29, according to UKHSA data.

NHS England data also shows that incidental cases are trending up both nationally and in London. Nearly half of Covid patients receive care for other diseases.

On January 18, 14,588 Covid patient in England hospitals received care. Only 7605 (52.1%) of them were receiving treatment because they had Covid. That is the lowest reported rate by the NHS. 47.9% were incidental. 

Omicron existed before the NHS medical system confirmed that around three-quarters were admitted to hospital because of their virus infection.

The Omicron wave’s subsidence is also evident in the fact that 40.8 percent of NHS employees have been unable to work since the virus struck. This was just two weeks ago.  

Omicron existed before the outbreak. Around 12,000 NHS employees were out of work every day for the virus. 

This figure skyrocketed to 49,941 on January 5 at the peak of the Omicron wave, equating to 53.4 per cent of all absences.

But as the Omicron wave has subsided — with daily infections dropping to around 93,000 per day compared to the peak of nearly 220,000 on January 4 — just 29,517 staff are off work due to Covid, accounting for 42.9 per cent of sick days.

Professor Powis was the NHS National Medical Director. 

He said: ‘While staff absences remain high and continue to increase in some parts of the country – it is good to see they have been reducing week on week.

King's College London scientists estimated one in 27 people in the UK were now infected with Covid. This was down to

King’s College London researchers estimated that 1 in 27 UK citizens were infected now with Covid. The difference was due to 

‘The number of people in hospital for both Covid and non-Covid care remains high, and arrivals at A&E via ambulance increased by more than 2,000, even as the largest and fastest vaccination programme in NHS history is boosting the nation and helping to protect people from the virus.

Commuters return to work when WFH has been scrapped 

Commuters across England returned to their offices after Boris Johnson shook all Covid Plan B restrictions. But, it is unlikely that city centres will return to normal anytime soon. Many companies are expected to delay staffing back in for several months.

According to TomTom, road congestion in London was at 72% in the morning rush hour, between 8am-9:30am, slightly higher than 71% yesterday, but higher than 66% last Thursday.

It was a more mixed picture elsewhere, with congestion at rush hour in Birmingham, Leeds, and Newcastle lower than yesterday and Thursday, respectively, while it was higher in Manchester and Sheffield.

Transport for London stated that Underground traffic increased 8 percent this morning, to 10am, compared to Thursday. They had 1.09m entries and exits. Meanwhile, buses saw an increase of 3 per cent, with 1.19million taps.

Although the Prime Minister asked civil servants to return to their offices and show leadership to country, yesterday’s lifting of restrictions on work from home was granted. They appear to have avoided going to work.

MailOnline asked him if staff were returning to work. A Home Office spokesperson said he was still WFH. He declined to confirm if he had received email instructions from Whitehall senior mendarins. He stated that civil servants were discouraged from being in the office during the pandemic.

The Department of Health and Social Care declined to confirm if employees have returned to their offices. An FDA representative representing civil servants said that he did not know whether mandarins were asked to go back in.

This tweet comes from FDA General Secretary Dave Penman today. This is a bizarre world where Tory ministers are able to give advice to private enterprises on how to manage their business. 

“Despite all the challenges they face, staff are able to continue providing routine care for patients. This includes increasing numbers of routine check-ups. They also have the determination to go above and beyond to help others. 

And Miriam Deakin, director of policy and strategy at NHS Providers, said the figures highlight ‘how intense pressures are in the health service, despite the fall in Covid cases nationally’. 

Although some data are moving in the right direction, staff absences remain much higher than they were at December’s start. She also said that figures on ambulance handover delays as well as bed occupancy shows the NHS is “at its full stretch”. 

Ms Deakin stated that while the Government had announced an increase in Covid restrictions they would need to continue to monitor the NHS and the challenges ahead for recovery from the pandemic. She also suggested that calculations should be made based on future risk.

It comes as one of the country’s top epidemiologists said infections are falling ‘rapidly’.

The King’s College London scientist and co-inventor of the Covid symptom tracker app ZOE said that it was great to see the number of cases fall quickly. The number of cases has dropped by 31% in just 2 weeks from its peak at over 211,000, to below 145,000. 

Latest estimates from the study — based on reports from more than 800,000 Britons — show 144,527 people were catching the virus on any given day last week, down on the 183,364 who were thought to be getting infected every day in the previous seven-day spell. 

They suggested that every region saw its spread shrink with only a small increase in cases among under-18s due to the “back-to-school” effect. 

Boris Johnson, yesterday, lifted homework guidance immediately. 

Meanwhile, schools no longer require face masks. Rules requiring that people wear them on the streets and in shops will also be removed starting January 26.

However, Health Secretary Sajid Javind said he would continue to wear one for at least the next week because cases remained high.

BBC Breakfast asked, “Will I wear a face-mask?” Yeah, I think I probably would be in a week’s time.

‘Because prevalence is still high and there will be people there, especially if I am going to my local shop which is small and enclosed and can have quite a few people in there at one time in quite a small space, I don’t know most of those people, I think that would be sensible.

‘I think it will be sensible on the tube in London, for example – quite an enclosed space.

“People will be asked for their personal judgement just like we did in fighting the flu.”