COVID hospital admission could fall 60 per cent by the end of the month – ahead of the next lockdown roadmap milestone.
The number of Brits in hospital could drop to levels last seen in October.
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Care is given to a patient at Wythenshawe HospitalCredit: London News Pictures
If the current rate continues the NHS would be back to treating around 3,000 people on wards with the bug in three weeks.
This would coincide with the next stage in Boris Johnson’s plan to pull the country out of lockdown, after schools reopened yesterday.
This means six people or less – or two households – will be allowed to mix outdoors again.
This means even small gatherings in private gardens will be permitted in a little over a month – just in time for Easter over the April 4 weekend.
The number of people on wards with Covid is reducing by a third every two weeks at the minute.
On February 22, the weekly rate of decline in admissions was 20 per cent, and by Sunday it was 27 per cent.
This means that if it continues at this rate, hospitals in England will see the current figure of 7,800 patients fall to just over 3,000 by the end of the month.
Professor Tim Spector said: “Rates of new cases still coming down (as well as admissions and deaths) and we now have one of the lowest rates in Europe even before the main effects of 20million vaccines kicks in.
“So I’m optimistic but June seems a long way away.”
Last week the Health Secretary hailed the vaccine programme as starting to have an impact on hospitalisations.
The declining case rate has led to renewed calls for the PM to accelerate the plan for lifting the lockdown.
Mark Harper, chairman of the Covid Recovery Group (CRG) made up of lockdown-sceptic Conservative MPs, said: “With the speed that we’re seeing deaths, hospitalisations and infections drop, I think when we get to the end of April it’s going to look a bit odd that the Government’s road map still has another two months nearly to run.
He said the Government “should bring forward the road map rather than be tied to the dates it’s already set out”.
Professor Calum Semple, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said a small rise in the R number – representing the reproduction rate of the virus – is less important than the absolute numbers being admitted to hospital and intensive care.
Ministers believe the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccinations should break the link between case numbers and hospital admissions and deaths as more and more people are protected from the disease.
Across the whole of the UK, more than 1.1 million people have received both doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, while 22.2 million first doses have been administered, with people aged between 56 and 59 being invited to book for a jab from this week.