Figures show the number of hospital admissions for people with coronavirus is rising, particularly in England. The numbers of patients who are on ventilators has also increased in recent weeks. It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new three-tier system for local lockdown restrictions in England in a bid to tackle increasing levels of infections, particularly in the North.
How many people are in hospital?
Daily hospital admissions of confirmed cases are back above 500 for the first time since the start of June.
The latest figures show that 544 patients were admitted to hospital in England on October 9 after testing positive for coronavirus in the 14 days prior to admission.
This is the highest daily number since June 2, when 553 people were admitted to hospitals.
The latest total equates to approximately double the number of two weeks ago, from 274 admissions on September 24 to 544 on October 9.
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During the national lockdown, daily admissions peaked at 3,099 on April 1.
The number of people currently in hospital with the virus is higher than it was when the lockdown was announced in March.
As of October 11, 3,451 patients were in hospital, compared to 3,097 patients hospitalised on March 23.
However, the crucial difference is the total was escalating much more steeply in March.
One-third, 33 percent, of coronavirus patients in mechanical ventilation beds in hospitals in England on October 11 were located in the north-west.
One quarter, or 25 percent, are situated in north-east England and Yorkshire.
By contrast, just two percent were in the south-east and another two percent in the south-west of England.
In north-east England and Yorkshire, 99 patients were in ventilator beds on October 11, up from 52 a fortnight earlier.
What does this mean for the UK?
The rising numbers of cases means the UK will have to undergo tougher lockdown restrictions for the coming months.
The Government has already introduced a three-tier alert system in an effort to control the spread and establish clear and easy-to-follow rules for all.
The three levels are tier one, which means a “medium” risk area, tier two which will be placed upon “high” risk areas and tier three which indicates a “high level” of cases.
Announcing the move in the House of Commons, Mr Johnson said: “In recent months we have worked with local leaders to counter local spikes with targeted restrictions.
“But this local approach has inevitably produced different sets of rules in different parts of the country that are now complex to understand and enforce,”
It is hoped the new rules will offer clarity to everyone as the country continues battling coronavirus.