Coronavirus divide laid bare with hospital patients in North at 33% of peak
A stark North-South coronavirus divide in England is revealed in new data which shows hospital admissions soaring in one half and plateauing in the other.
Admissions are still rising in the North West, North East and Yorkshire, where local lockdowns have been in effect in some places for weeks and people are testing positive in record numbers.
In the North, the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 in the worst affected regions has climbed to almost 33% of the total during the peak of the crisis in April.
In the South, the figure is much lower, at around 6%. Admissions appear to be levelling off in the South West, South East and London – home to about half of England’s population of 55 million – after an increase in September.
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It comes as swathes of the North are hit by an out-of-control second wave and England faces the prospect of a second national lockdown this autumn or winter.
Nationally, the number of new cases is doubling every week, and experts have said they could match the peak of the first wave at the end of October without intervention such as a so-called circuit break lockdown and strict new measures to follow it.
The North West is averaging 107 new hospital admissions every day, while the figure is slightly lower (94) in the North East and Yorkshire.
The figures are the highest since May and do not show signs of slowing, MailOnline reported.
During the initial peak, the North West saw around 2,900 admissions per day and the North East about 2,600.
London’s average is 34 admissions per day, down from 39 in late September and only 4.5% of the peak in April.
The averages are lower in the South West (8, or 6% of the April peak) and South East (15, or 5% of the peak).
Things aren’t as straight forward in the Midlands, where admissions soared in September and are now showing signs of peaking (averaging 57 a day, 10% of peak).
Hospitalisations appear to be rising slowly in the East (15 a day, 7% of peak), but not as fast as the North.
In the third week of September, 171 of the 219 deaths recorded were in the three worst-hit regions – the North East, North West and the Midlands.
Officials have warned that the rate at which the coronavirus is spreading is now faster than it was in the summer in every region of England.
Public Health England (PHE) data shows a north-south divide.
Cases in the North West and North East are about eight times higher than those in South West, South East and East of England.
The North West has the highest rate (136.1 cases for every 100,000 people), while the South East has the lowest (16.1 cases per 100,000).
According to the Department of Health’s figures, three quarters of all Covid-19 patients in hospital (76.8 per cent) are in the North West, North East and Midlands. A third are in the North West.
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