Covid infections 'to peak today' as flu cases surge by 45 per cent

Covid infections 'to peak today' as flu cases surge by 45 per cent

GB News discuss Covid restrictions

Jack Walters

By Jack Walters

Published: 30/12/2023

- 18:57

There were an average of 942 patients with flu in hospitaleach day last week in England

Cases of the flu and other winter viruses have jumped over recent days as experts warn that Covid infections will likely peak today.

The number of people in hospital with the flu surged by 45 per cent in the week up to Christmas Eve.

According to the latest data, infections are still on a steep increase.

An average of 942 patients with flu were in hospital each day last week in England.

Person taking Covid testPerson taking Covid testPA

The average includes almost 50 in critical care.

The figure is around six times higher than a month ago.

Festive gatherings appear to be behind the increase in cases, with rates doubling to 4.3 per cent of the population in recent weeks.

The total number of people infected in the first half of December stood at 2.5 million.

A Nottingham City Council coronavirus information sign in NottinghamA Nottingham City Council coronavirus information sign in NottinghamPA

NHS England has compiled data showing there were 3,620 patients with Covid-19 in hospital on December 24.

NHS staff absences due to Covid were also up to around 2,600 workers on average every day last week.

It has been suggested that the recent spike in cases is being driven by the JN.1 subvariant.

Professor Lawrence Young, a virologist at Warwick University, said: "We continue to be confronted by new Covid variants which are unpredictable and, together with the inevitable increase in mixing over the Christmas period, increases the risk of a spike of infections just at the time when the NHS will be experiencing its usual winter pressures."

Stay at home sign

Stock image during the 2020 lockdown


England’s top doctor Prof Stephen Powis said: “These figures demonstrate the storm of pressure the NHS is facing with huge rises in flu patients over the last few weeks and many more norovirus cases than we saw last winter, as well as the ongoing impact of Covid.

“I would urge the public to get their Covid and flu vaccines if they are eligible, make sure you order repeat prescriptions in advance of the upcoming bank holiday weekend, and as ever only use 999 or A&E in an emergency, with 111 online the best place to go for any other conditions.”

He added: “Unfortunately the [strike] impact is likely to be much more severe next week with six days of industrial action planned by junior doctors, the longest in NHS history, at a time when hospitals usually experience the most pressure with high demand and higher levels of virus admissions.”

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