Covid deaths and hospitalisations are back to March levels across the board and showing no sign of coming down.
A number of key indicators reveal the pandemic situation is similar to the end of the winter wave, with cases remaining persistently high despite the progress of the vaccine rollout.
Figures released today reveal the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 have remained at above 8,000 for an eleventh straight day.
It means the number of people being treated on wards with the coronavirus remains higher now than at any point since March.
The number of people in hospital has been creeping up steadily since dipping under 1,000 in May, the lowest levels since the Alpha and Delta variant caused fresh surges.
The number of patients on ventilators has remained at above 1,000 since August 31, also back to a situation last seen in March.
The same is true of Covid-related deaths which have reached a grim milestone this week and have risen by nearly half in just a month.
A further 164 deaths were confirmed in the last 24 hours to take the total over the last seven days to 1,003, the first time the four digit threshold has been crossed since the winter wave.
According to data published by the Office for National Statistics, 159,000 people have now died of Covid-19.
Another 30,144 cases have been confirmed today. The number of daily new infections briefly dipped back under 30,000 earlier this week but has ticked up again in recent days.
A member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, which advises the government on vaccine policy, was warned there will be ‘very uncertain times’ over the coming months.
Professor Adam Finn urged people to continue taking precautions such as wearing masks, even if they are not mandatory.
Asked about winter, he told Times Radio: ‘I think we’re all concerned. I mean, we’re in a position of uncertainty as we have been from the outset.
‘Things are changing all the time and although we have some insight into the future and we’ve learned a lot about the vaccine programme and other things, there is still a high level of uncertainty.
‘With people interacting and behaving more normally, we are going to see the circulation of infections that more or less disappeared last winter, and they are going to provide an additional burden.
‘We don’t really know what’s going to happen with the trend in cases of Covid but it’s certainly still circulating. So I think we’re entering very uncertain times.’
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