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The two regions where COVID hospital numbers are still higher than the first wave peak

James Morris
·Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
·2-min read
CWMBRAN, WALES – FEBRUARY 17: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wears a face mask with the number 10 on it during a visit to the vaccination centre at Cwmbran Stadium on February 17, 2021 in Cwmbran, Wales. The Prime Minister visited the vaccination centre to see the progress of the COVID-19 vaccine roll out in Wales. During the visit he explained that the lifting of the coronavirus lockdown would be “based firmly on a cautious and prudent approach”. (Photo by Geoff Caddick – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Boris Johnson is set to share the 'road map' out of England's lockdown on Monday – but hospital numbers remain high. (Getty Images)

If you look at the government’s latest daily coronavirus data, it all points to good news ahead of Boris Johnson sharing his “road map” out of England’s lockdown on Monday.

Across the UK, the charts (below) show daily COVID-19 infections, hospitalisations and deaths are all in steep decline.

(coronavirus.data.gov.uk)
(coronavirus.data.gov.uk)

But while there’s no doubt the figures are encouraging and an easing of lockdown is in sight, there's still reason for caution when you look deeper into the hospital data.

For example, in two English regions, the total number of people in hospital with coronavirus as of Wednesday – the latest date for which figures are available – remains higher than it was during the first wave peak.

They are:

  • East of England: 1,780 COVID patients in hospital as of Wednesday (it was 1,679 in the first wave peak on 12 April)

  • South East: 2,349 (2,347 in the first wave peak on 14 April)

While the number of COVID patients is lower than during the first peak in the five other regions, the differences are still relatively marginal in three:

  • Midlands: 3,325 COVID patients in hospital as of Wednesday (it was 3,430 in the first wave peak on 12 April)

  • North East and Yorkshire: 2,391 (2,661 in the first wave peak on 9 April)

  • South West: 930 (1,076 in the first wave peak on 14 April)

The comparisons in all seven regions can be seen in these interactive charts:

Made with Flourish
Made with Flourish

The charts also show how most regional hospital numbers are still higher than when England came out of its second lockdown on 2 December last year.

And all regions continue to report patient numbers well above those seen last May, when Boris Johnson announced the initial easing of the first lockdown.

Watch: Boris Johnson warns of 'cautious' approach to easing lockdown (from Wednesday)

Johnson said earlier this week that the latest lockdown will be eased in "stages" – and it is likely to be done at a much more cautious rate than has been demanded by lockdown sceptics on his Conservative backbenches.

Health secretary Matt Hancock has previously said hospitalisations, deaths, the state of new COVID variants and the effectiveness of vaccines will be the four main factors the government considers before easing restrictions.

Watch: What you can and can't do during England's third national lockdown