Hospitals-time to worry

The graph below is quite frightening.  It shows the number of new daily cases that result in a hospital bed 14 days later. If we look at January we see that we only needed to be having one or two new cases per day to be having 1 case in hospital 14 days later.  

To take a single example on 2nd January 2021 57502 new covid cases and 14 days later there were 32,923 people in hospital.  A ratio of 1.74:1    

Today we have 15,044 people in hospital and 14 days ago we had 80,916 new cases. A ratio of 5 to 1 (these are spot figures, the graph shows a 7 day rolling average). 


The vaccines began to have an effect in April, the number cases to put generate 1 patient  began to increase. Then in August it dropped back, as the vaccines lost effectiveness.  Booster jabs started in October and the number of people cases per patient stabilised out around 5.  December saw the arrival of Omicron, which we are told is much less serious. But the number of cases per patient has only gone up to 6 – not a dramatic change.

So why is the graph frightening?  We now have 15,000 people in hospital and we had 81,000 cases 14 days ago on 21st December.  Today we have 149,000 cases, so we can expect hospitalisations to go up to 28,000.  But the cases are still rising. 

Unbelievably we could yet break the record of 39,245 covid patients in hospital set on 18th January 2021. 

Meanwhile at least 8 hospital trusts have declared critical incidents due to Covid absences, Boris admits parts of the NHS will be overwhelmed and that heart attack and stroke patients should make there own way to a hospital. The governments only response is to ask 100,000 key workers to take a lateral flow test every day.

On a positive note (there aren’t many) the death rate seems to be coming down, but there is, as yet, insufficient data to say be how much.