The number of hospital admissions in England of people with Covid-19 has climbed to its highest level for nearly five months.
A total of 752 admissions were reported on July 19, NHS England figures show. This is up 21 per cent on the previous week, and is the highest daily number since February 25, according to analysis by the PA news agency.
The total includes 197 admissions in north-east England and Yorkshire: up 40 per cent week-on-week and the highest daily number for this part of England since February 18.
North-west England recorded 141 admissions on July 19: up 44 per cent week-on-week and the highest since February 23.
Total admissions for England are still some way below the peak of the second wave, when they hit a high of 4,134 on January 12. But the figures reflect how the third wave of coronavirus is continuing to drive a slow but steady rise in hospital admissions.
Speaking at the Downing Street press conference on Monday, the government's chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance, said the trend for hospital admissions during the third wave was likely to be "a somewhat different picture" to the second wave, with numbers expected to increase though not the same extent as before.
"We do expect there to be over 1,000 people per day being hospitalised with Covid because of the increase in infections, but the rates should be lower than they have been previously because of the protective effects of vaccination," he said.
The total number of patients in hospital in England with Covid-19 stood at 4,063 on July 21. This is up 31 per cent week-on-week, and is the highest number since March 23.
At the peak of the second wave, Covid-19 patient levels in England reached 34,336, on January 18.