Record cases reported as Covid patients in England hospitals at highest level since February

A Covid test kit is handed out at a Covid-19 Test Site at Edinburgh Airport , Scotland, where people have been asked to reduce their social contact as much as possible by meeting in groups of no more than three households. Picture date: Thursday December 30, 2021. Andrew Milligan/PA
A Covid test kit is handed out at a Covid-19 Test Site at Edinburgh Airport, Scotland. Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA

The UK has recorded a record number of new Covid-19 cases, while the number of patients in hospital in England with coronavirus reached the highest level since February.

A total of 15,044 people were in hospital with Covid-19 as of 8am on January 4, according to NHS England.

This is the highest number since February 18 and is an increase of 58% from a week earlier.

During the second wave, the number peaked at 34,336 on January 18.

Meanwhile, the UK recorded a further 218,724 new coronavirus infections in a day, as of 9am on Tuesday.

It is the first time the UK reported more than 200,000 cases in a day, but the figures contain some delayed reporting from over the holiday period.

And at least 48 more people have died within 28 days of testing positive. The figures only include deaths in England, Northern Ireland and Wales as Scotland has not provided up-to-date information on Covid deaths.

Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have now been 174,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

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England reported 148,725 more cases of coronavirus in the latest 24-hour period.

And there were 25 more deaths within 28 days of a positive Covid test. Of the 15,044 Covid patients in hospital as of 8am on January 4, more than a quarter (3,993 patients) were in London.

In the capital, there has been a 32% week-on-week rise in Covid patients in hospital, and the number is the highest since February 11.

In north-east England and Yorkshire, patient numbers are up 99% week-on-week to 2,146, the highest since February 21.

In north-west England, numbers are up 88% week-on-week to 2,618, the highest since February 15.

Credit: PA Images


Wales, which did not report any data on Monday, reported 22,317 infections over a two-day period.

The nation also reported eight more deaths related to Covid over the same two days.


Scottish authorities reported 17,259 more Covid infections on Tuesday.

However, Scotland has not updated its data for deaths.

Northern Ireland

Authorities in Northern Ireland reported 30,423 more positive tests over a four-day period.

The nation, which had not provided data over the previous three days, reported 15 more coronavirus deaths over the same four-day period.