Covid hospital admissions fall below 1,000 for first time in nearly two months as Omicron wave recedes

Daily hospital admissions for Covid patients have fallen below 1,000 for the first time in nearly two months as the surge in cases triggered by the highly transmissible Omicron variant recedes.

Latest NHS data shows there were 989 people admitted to hospitals in England on Sunday and 996 on Saturday. The last time this figure was three figures was on 19 December, when there were 926 hospitalisations.

At the peak of the Omicron wave for hospitalisations, on 29 December 2021, 2,370 people were admitted to facilities in England.

Data released on Monday also showed there were a further 41,648 cases – slightly up on the previous day but still lower than at any other time since the end of November – and 35 people died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus, bringing the total to 159,605.

Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have been 182,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

In Scotland, coronavirus cases have also fallen to the lowest number for almost two months.

Scotland recorded 5,118 new cases, according to the latest daily statistics published by the Scottish government. The last time there were fewer new infections recorded was on 17 December 2021.

The government has said it will fast forward the relaxation of Covid restrictions in light of the recent positive trend in cases.

Asked about the evidence to back up those plans, the prime minister said it was “clear” Omicron is less dangerous than previous variants.

On a visit to Scotland, Boris Johnson told reporters: “I think the situation with Covid is that numbers remain high, but it’s clear that Omicron is much less dangerous than the Delta.”

He said: “You can see the numbers going down in hospitals, numbers in ICU have been nothing like what we saw with Delta.

“I think we’re on the right lines and together we’ve been taking roughly the same strategy.

“I know people make a lot of small differences. I understand that completely. But, overall, the UK has really been working very, very effectively together on testing, which is important. We’ll make sure we continue to work with our colleagues in Scotland.”

Boris Johnson was asked about his Covid plan during an official visit to Scotland

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