Admissions from Covid fall despite spiralling infection rates

Nusrat Ghani

It had been feared with the easing of restrictions in the summer and the return of pupils to school, infection rates would rise, which could see a spike in the number of people requiring medical treatment.

Yet, while rates of the virus continue to increase across Tunbridge Wells, which is now the most heavily infected area in the county, hospital admissions are falling.

There were 579 positive cases of Covid-19 for the seven days to September 29, up from 541 from the week before. This gives the area a rate per 100,000 people of 486.8 – well above the average for England of 340.0.

Similar levels of the virus can be seen across West Kent with cases rising in Tonbridge & Malling, where the rate per 100,000 is now 411.1 (up from 301.7 seven days earlier).

Sevenoaks has seen rates per 100,000 rise to 394.6 and Wealden 291.3. Across Kent the rate per 100,000 people is now 252.4.

Despite the rising rates, hospital admissions are falling. The number of people admitted or diagnosed with Covid-19 at either Tunbridge Wells Hospital in Pembury or the Trust’s Maidstone site has fallen to 73 for the month of September – less than 25 a week – down from 92 in August.

This is a fraction of the near 230 people diagnosed or admitted to Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust each week during the peak of the virus in January 2020.

The Trust has recorded 13 deaths from Covid-19 in September.

A similar fall in hospital admissions is being seen across Kent, where the number has almost halved in three weeks.

Figures show less than 90 people a day are being admitted to hospitals across the county with the virus each day, well below the 1,361 a day in January this year.

In total, 89 deaths were recorded across Kent for the month of September

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