The number of patients who have to be treated in hospitals for Covid is falling in Bolton, the first area to be hit hard by the now dominant Indian variant.
Recent NHS figures show 42 people with the virus were hospitalized at Royal Bolton Hospital last Tuesday on June 1, up from 49 at the height of the new fear of variants a week earlier.
The number of people hospitalized daily also fell to just three on May 30, compared to 14 five days earlier. The numbers are decreasing in cases, which seems to indicate that an increase in new variant cases has come under control.
The same pattern is hopefully beginning to unfold in neighboring Blackburn, the UK’s current hotspot, also affected by the Indian “Delta” strain, where infection rates in over 60s have started to decline after rising.
Although the county’s infection rate was still rising in late May, a decrease in infections among the elderly should help officials keep hospital admissions and deaths under control.
More than 12,000 cases of variant B.1.617.2 have been discovered in the UK so far, and Public Health England first admitted last week that it has become the most common variant in the UK. Almost every fifth officially registered case – 2,149 – was in Bolton, and another 724 in Blackburn with Darwen.
But the fact that Bolton has turned the tide of the superinfectious strain suggests it can be successfully controlled without lockdowns, with testing, contact tracing, and vaccinations instead.
The number of people hospitalized with Covid in Bolton began to decline in the last week of May, as did the total number of people on the wards. The numbers suggest the city has managed to prevent a surge in infections caused by the new Indian variant from turning into a disaster. The number of patients on ventilators continued to rise, likely due to people who are already in the hospital getting increasingly sick – but the number remains low at just 11 on June 1
Covid hospital admissions rose in Bolton in the first week of May about 10 days after the rise in cases – it can take several weeks for infected patients to get sick enough to need medical attention.
The city, home to around 200,000 people, was the first alarm bell the Indian variant set off in the UK when cases exploded there and a test wave discovered hundreds of people infected with the strain.
The coronavirus infection rate soared ten-fold from just 44 cases per 100,000 people in the week ending April 22, to a high of 453 per 100,000 a month later on May 21.
The most common cases were among those under 55 who were least likely to have received two doses of a vaccine, but hospital admissions rose as the cases exploded. Only a small proportion of the patients were fully vaccinated.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted last week that the link between infection and hospital admissions that were supposed to separate vaccines has so far been “broken but not completely severed”.
Positive tests at Bolton began to decline in mid-May, falling from an average of 186 per day on May 18 to 148 by May 29, with signs suggesting that they were declining even further last week. The most recent infection rate is 355 per 100,000.
Bolton positive tests began to decline in mid-May, falling from an average of 186 per day on May 18 to 148 by May 29, with signs suggesting they had fallen even further last week. The most recent infection rate is 355 per 100,000
The turning point in hospital admissions seemed to come a week later, reaching on Jan.
The head of the local vaccine program, Dr. Helen Wall said last week that hospital admissions “are stabilizing and remaining stable,” the Manchester Evening News reported.
“We’re not seeing the same fast peaks as before, but we can’t rest on that,” she said.
“I think it’s because of the vaccines and the number of people we’ve vaccinated during that time that we’ve seen these benefits.”
Public health chiefs hope the same trend plays out in Blackburn with Darwen, a nearby Lancashire district that is home to around 150,000 people.
Infection rates in Blackburn have grown rapidly, rising from 50 cases per 100,000 people in late April to 488 per 100,000 by June 1. It is now the UK’s coronavirus hotspot, having taken over from Bolton last week and recording the second highest number of Indian variant cases – registered 724 so far
Health Department figures show that the infection rate among people aged 60 or older peaked at 129 cases per 100,000 on May 26, and has since fallen to 95 per 100,000, after rising to just 14 at the end of April
The infection rates there have risen rapidly, from 50 cases per 100,000 people at the end of April to 488 per 100,000 by June 1.
Hospital admissions are gradually falling and could continue to rise in the coming days and weeks – currently, an average of five people per day are hospitalized at the East Lancashire NHS Trust, which includes Blackburn, Burnley and Clitheroe.
And there are a total of 27 people with Covid in the hospital – the highest number since mid-March.
In a promising sign for Blackburn – now Britain’s coronavirus hotspot after overtaking Bolton last week – cases are already falling among those over 60.
Health Department figures show that the infection rate in people aged 60 or older peaked at 129 cases per 100,000 on May 26 and has since fallen to 95 per 100,000, after rising just 14 times in late April.
For those under 60, however, the rate rose from around 50 per 100,000 in the last week of April to 455 per 100,000 on May 26, and rose to 584 by June 1.
Hospital admissions are gradually rising behind the Blackburn cases and could continue to rise in the coming days and weeks – currently, an average of five people per day are hospitalized at the East Lancashire NHS Trust, which includes Blackburn, Burnley and Clitheroe
A decrease in infections in the elderly should help keep the number of people dying from the disease low and serves as evidence that double-dose vaccines are working, while single-dose vaccines may be less effective – younger adults are less likely to have one Vaccinate both of their jabs.
Scientists are calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to postpone the full unlock, scheduled for June 21, in an attempt to bring booster jabs to as many people as possible.
Sir David King, former senior scientific adviser to No. 10 and now chairman of Independent SAGE, said on Times Radio today: “I am very reluctant to say that we are on the 21st and it is advisable that the government put a delay immediately announces the opening so we can all plan for after June 21st. ‘