Tuesday, 2 Mar 2021

New government graph shows tiny proportion of coronavirus hospital patients are under 65

NEW Government graphs show just a tiny proportion of people hospitalised with coronavirus are under the age of 65.

Despite rising rates of Covid – which have seen one out of every two Brits forced back into tougher lockdown measures – younger people aren't becoming significantly ill.

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The graph, shown during Boris Johnson's press conference at Downing Street this afternoon, shows that the most vulnerable to the virus are people aged 65 and over – and particularly those aged over 85.

However, cases are rising around the country, it was said.

The Government's top scientist Sir Patrick Vallance said two studies suggest the number of people getting infected every day could be as high as 53,000 – while modelling puts that figure even higher, at up to 74,000.

But hospital admissions – which are rising – remain low for younger Brits.

It's particularly low for children, as well as anyone below the age of 44.

Sir Patrick said more younger people are becoming infected – and cases then pass to older generations, who are more vulnerable.

"Once it gets into the over-60s and the over 65s, that's when you start to see a big increase in hospitalisation, and of course the serious complications, including, of course, some people who will die from this disease," he said.

"This epidemic is growing, it's growing everywhere, it's getting faster in some places and it's spreading through the age groups."

He said there's a "gradual trend" of rising cases in young people spreading to older age groups.

"That is happening now across the country, and that in turn leading to increased hospital admission rates," he said.

And he warned that, despite the figures, there has been a rise in hospitalisations "across most age groups", including people aged between 45 and 64.

"About 40 per cent of hospital admissions are in the under 60s," he said.

The Prime Minister used his speech to hit out at Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, who is battling No10 over plans to send the region into tougher lockdown measures.

The Government wants Manchester to go into the tier three category, along with Liverpool and Lancashire. It would mean businesses like bars and pubs shutting.

Mr Johnson said: "The situation in Manchester is grave and worsens with each passing day."

He warned that Manchester would soon have more patients in local intensive care units than they did at the peak of the first wave of coronavirus – and said he could force the region into tier three.

"Time is of the essence. Each day means more will go to hospital and more in intense care and more will die," he said.

"If an agreement can’t be reached I will intervene."

Asked whether people would die as a result of the row between Downing Street and regions about local lockdowns, Sir Patrick said: "These are horrendously difficult decisions and there are harms on both sides.

"From a purely epidemiological point of view, it is important to go quite fast on this, it is important to make sure you go hard enough to get the R below 1, and the sooner you do that the sooner you get this under control."

During the hearing, Mr Johnson scolded Labour politicians for demanding a national "circuit breaker" lockdown, saying "closing businesses in Cornwall, where transmission is low, will not cut transmission in Manchester".

Nationally, the R rate climbed up even higher today, reaching between 1.3 to 1.5 across the country.

Another 15,650 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus overnight.

However, new cases are down by a sixth on yesterday – raising hopes that new infections are steadying.

Another 136 Covid deaths were also announced today – slightly lower than the 138 yesterday. 

And researchers say just 0.05 per cent of health people under the age of 70 who are infected with coronavirus will die from it.

New research suggests Covid-19 infection-fatality rate (IFR) could be much lower than previously estimated.

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