Doctor admits people catching Covid-19 while IN hospital is skewing data

WHO director suggests the pandemic could end in Europe soon. Image: Pixabay

A doctor based in an Omicron hotspot in London has said the growing number of people testing positive for Covid after coming into hospital for another illness is a “major problem”. The admission comes after growing pressure from experts and politicians to distinguish between admissions from Covid and patients with the virus to stop the amounts from skewing data.

The MailOnline revealed up to two-thirds of new coronavirus patients are not being treated by the NHS because of the disease. This has caused Tory Mp Craig Mckinlay to say this distinction is vital before government ministers can make any decision on further lockdown curbs, as without it there is no way to know how much pressure the NHS is actually under due to the virus.

In the two weeks to December 21, hospitals across England recorded 563 new coronavirus inpatients. The majority of these are believed to be infected with Omicron, which is now the country’s dominant strain. But the data revealed by The MailOnline showed that just 197 (35%) were being primarily treated for Covid with the remaining 366 only testing positive after being admitted for something else.

Dr Zudin Puthucheary, a member of the Intensive Care Society in London and a physician in London, has said the number of patients who “happen to be Covid positive” is skewing data. It is also exacerbated by people catching Covid while on wards, with a separate lot of data showing 31% of patients testing positive seven days after treatment for other illnesses.

The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 is the main piece of information that the government will use before ordering a new lockdown, even though new cases have been over 100,000 a day multiple times in the past week. If admissions go over 400 a day, this is said to be the breaking point for the NHS currently, even though admissions reached 977 in January during the height of last winter’s wave. On Monday 20 December, admissions were at 307, just shy of the threshold. The analysis that was completed by MailOnline just over four in 10 new Omicorn hospital patients in London were admitted for a different reason, skewing data.

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Written by

Claire Gordon