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Number of patients with Covid-19 in Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge more than trebles

The number of people in Addenbrooke’s Hospital with Covid-19 has more than trebled in less than a month, latest figures show.

Addenbrooke's Hospital Picture: Keith Heppell (55819751)
Addenbrooke's Hospital Picture: Keith Heppell (55819751)

Data released today (Thursday, March 31) shows that Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (CUH) is currently caring for 103 patients with Covid-19, with 10 of those patients in critical care.

There are nine inpatients waiting for Covid-19 test results.

Less than a month ago, on Thursday, March 3, the trust was caring for 32 patients with Covid-19.

The CUH online staff bulletin said yesterday (Wednesday): “We continue to see an increase in the number of Covid positive patients, this has resulted in us having to increase our Red capacity and has led to the already stretched medical bed base becoming even more constrained.

“We recognise the disruption that changing capacity usage brings and thank staff for your ongoing flexibility and support.”

It went on to say that patients were seeing “long journey times” in the emergency department: “We are experiencing significant capacity issues across the trust, which is having an impact on our ability to provide safe care for patients in our emergency department.”

The Covid-19 infection rate in Cambridgeshire has been continuing to climb with 7,811 cases in latest figures.

Official figures suggest the case rate grew by 391 (5.3 per cent) in the seven days to March 23, compared to the previous week.

The latest wave of infections is being driven by the Omicron sub-variant BA.2, a more transmissible form of the virus, according to the ONS.

The infection rate in Cambridgeshire for the week to March 23 was 1,344.1 cases per 100,000 people, which was higher than the national average of 899.1.

In Cambridge, the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases rose by 192 (12.9 per cent) to 1,681 in the week to March 23. The infection rate was 1,344.1 cases per 100,000 people. Trumpington, with 250 cases, up from 180, was the worst affected area in the city and the whole county.

There were 2,039 cases in South Cambridgeshire, an increase of 36 (1.8 per cent) on the previous week and the infection rate was 1,267.2.

The data comes as free testing for the general public ends tomorrow (Friday, April 1) as part of the government’s Living with Covid plan.

Health secretary Sajid Javid speaks with representatives at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus a tour of the region in February. Picture: Lauren Hurley / Department of Health and Social Care
Health secretary Sajid Javid speaks with representatives at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus a tour of the region in February. Picture: Lauren Hurley / Department of Health and Social Care

Ministers in England argue that even though infection levels have been rising, vaccines and antivirals are working to protect the vast majority of people.

People at risk of serious illness from Covid-19 will continue to get free tests to use if they develop symptoms, along with NHS and adult social care staff and those in other high-risk settings.

The government has set out the groups who will still be eligible for free testing when they have symptoms of the virus.

These include some hospital patients, some people at high risk of severe Covid, and some who live or work in “high-risk settings” including some NHS and social care units or prisons.

Routine tests for care home and hospice residents will no longer continue and will only be provided in the event of an outbreak or a resident being admitted.

People who have a positive Covid-19 test in England will be advised to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for five days, which is when they are most infectious.

Secretary of state for health and social care, Sajid Javid MP said: “Thanks to our plan to tackle Covid we are leading the way in learning to live with the virus. We have made enormous progress but will keep the ability to respond to future threats including potential variants.

“Vaccines remain our best defence and we are now offering spring boosters to the elderly, care home residents and the most vulnerable – please come forward to protect yourself, your family, and your community.”

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