CORONAVIRUS hospital admissions are set to pass the peak of the first wave in April.
The most recent data from the Department of Health shows there were 21,286 patients in hospital for the killer bug on December 22.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
This is not far off the peak of the first wave, when there were 21,683 patients in hospital in April 21.
The most up-to-date seven-day hospital admission average is 1,984 and if that current trend continues then it will pass the peak for patients that were in hospital beds in the spring.
Hospital admissions are currently at a higher figure than the week before the second lockdown – where there was a seven-day average of 1,191.
The number of patients that were admitted to hospital on December 20 is 2,143, according to the latest figures.
In April, there was a single day admission of 3,569 of patients.
The Department of Health website notes that not all the data will be updated everyday over the Christmas period – raises fears the true numbers will be much higher when they get published.
It comes as a senior NHS source told The Sunday Times that the service now has the equivalent of 40 hospitals full of Covid-19 patients.
Hospitals have been ordered to mobilise all their “surge capacity” and some have even began setting up makeshift intensive care beds in paediatric and cancer wards.
Earlier this week, Boris Johnson refused to rule out a third lockdown after Christmas.
The PM warned tougher restrictions could be needed to keep a mutant coronavirus strain “running out of control” in the New Year.
The rapid spread of the new variant, believed to be up to 70 per cent more contagious, saw millions of Brits in London and the South East of England plunged into a Tier 4 lockdown just before Christmas.
Further areas were thrown into Tier 4 on Boxing Day amid fears the new strain has already spread across the country.
Speaking at a press conference to announce the UK’s post-Brexit trade deal with the EU, Mr Johnson said the new variant had led to “very considerable new pressure” – and did not another national lockdown.
The PM said: “We believe that we’re going to have to get through this tough period now with, as I have said many times, very tough restrictions, with tough tiering.
“As much as I regret that, I do think it is necessary for us to drive this virus now to stop it running out of control in January.
“We need to buy ourselves time to get the vaccine into as many arms of the elderly and vulnerable as we can.”
Mr Johnson acknowledged that the last-minute cancellation of Christmas for millions of Brits was “very tough”, but stressed it would “continue to be difficult” because the new variant is spreading at an alarming rate.
Boris Johnson has refused to rule out a third lockdown Credit: Crown Copyright
If the current trend continues, more people would have been admitted to hospital with Covid-19 compared to the first waveCredit: PA:Press Association