More than 1,700 patients admitted to Midlands hospitals with Covid in a week as UK cases rise

More than 1,700 people have been admitted to hospitals in the Midlands over the past seven days with Covid, according to the Department of Health and Social Care.

Figures show 1,898 people are currently in hospitals in the region with the virus - and 1,774 of those patients have been admitted into hospital over the past week.

Of those patients 22 are in ventilation beds, which are used for the most critically ill patients.

In the Midlands, 140 people have died over the past week, while 68,928 have tested positive.

Are Covid cases and hospital admissions rising in the Midlands?

Hospitals across the Midlands have seen increases in admissions. In Leicester, 204 people are in hospital, with 152 of them admitted over the past seven days.

That equals a 44% increase in the number of people testing positive in the city, similar to the national average.

In Nottingham, 187 people are in hospital - 106 of whom have been admitted in the last week.

And one of Birmingham's largest hospital trusts has said 241 patients are in hospital with the virus, up 228 since last week.

A testing staff member completes a lateral flow test swab at another location. Credit: PA Images

What's happening in the rest of the UK?

Cases are rising across the country.

The number of people testing positive has rocketed by 43.9% over the past seven days, with over half a million people registering a positive test last week.

Hospital admissions, and deaths, are also rising, but not as fast. Over the same period there has been a 21.9% increase in hospitalisations, and 740 people have died - a rise of 1.9%.

While the vast majority of people have had at least one Covid vaccination, and doctors have developed more effective ways of treating people, those hospitalisation figures are expected to rise over the coming weeks, given the large number of positive tests.

What's being done to counter the rise in Covid cases?

As it stands, the government is still planning to scrap the provision of free lateral flow tests at the end of the month - whilst the legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive has already been ditched.

Currently, deaths and hospitalisations are nowhere near the kind of levels we saw at the heights of this pandemic, and ministers will be hoping that large vaccination numbers will keep them low.

The arrival of warmer weather has also, historically, driven down positive cases.

But despite this, the number of people in hospital are increasing; and, as yet, it's unclear what, if any, action will be taken to stop that number rising further.