Covid-19: Hospital patients with coronavirus in the East of England is highest for six weeks

Health authorities are urging older people to get a booster jab after coronavirus cases rise in the East of England. Credit: PA Images/Kirsty O'Connor

The number of patients with coronavirus being treated in hospitals in the East of England is at the highest level for nearly six weeks as confirmed cases in the community surge.

There were 625 people with Covid-19 in hospital in the region on Thursday, 23 June, which is more than one-third more than the previous week. The number of patients had dropped to below 350 in early June as the Omicron wave subsided.

The figures come as health experts warned nearly one in six people aged 75 and over have not received any dose of vaccine in the past six months, putting them more at risk of severe disease.

The growing prevalence of the virus is likely to be driven by the spread of the latest Omicron variants, BA.4 and BA.5, which are now thought to be the dominant strains in much of the UK.

Dr Mary Ramsay of the UK Health Security Agency said: "We continue to see increases in Covid-19 outbreaks within care homes and hospitalisations among those aged 75 years and over.

"Our data also shows that 17.5% of people aged 75 years and over have not had a vaccine within the past six months, putting them more at risk of severe disease.

"We urge everyone in this age group, as well as those living in a care home or who are clinically vulnerable, to ensure they get their spring booster for protection against serious illness."

Despite the end of mass testing for the disease the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus has risen by more than 30% in a week in the Anglia region.

There were more than 10,000 new cases in the latest weekly data and the infection rate in the region was above 140 cases per 100,000 in the population.

Cases are rising fastest in the East in Bedfordshire where there was a weekly rise of 55%. The infection rate is higher than 200 cases per 100,000 in Cambridge, South Cambridgeshire and Rutland.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), six times as many people in the Anglia region died with coronavirus listed on their death certificate in May this year compared to May 2021.

There were 349 deaths attributed to Covid-19 in the region in the five weeks to 27 May 2022 compared to 54 in the same period in 2021.

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