THE number of people in hospital with Covid-19 in England climbed back above 10,000 yesterday with all regions recording a rise in patients.

A total of 10,576 people were in hospital with the virus on March 14, showing a 19 per cent rise from the previous week, according to data from NHS England. 

The last time the number of people in hospital with Covid was above 10,000 was on February 15.

The total dropped to nearly 8,000 towards the end of February but has risen again in recent days.

The number of Covid patients in England reached 17,120 during the Omicron wave of infections at the start of the year, and the figure peaked at 34,336 during the second wave in January 2021.

In the south west, the number of Covid patients is the highest it has been for nearly a year at 1,081 as of March 14.

Of those, 11 were in hospital beds with a mechanical ventilator.

This follows data published on Friday by the Office for National Statistics that showed infection levels rising in all four UK nations for the first time since the end of January.

Health secretary Sajid Javid said the rise in infections was to be “expected” following coronavirus restrictions being lifted in England and replaced with the Government's Living with Covid plan. 

He told Sky News: “We are now open as a country and there’s more social mixing, but there’s nothing in the data at this point in time that gives us any cause for concern.”

Coronavirus cases in South Somerset

In the South Somerset district, 1,624 people had a confirmed positive Covid test result between March 8 and March 14 – an increase of 57.2 per cent compared to the previous week.

There were three deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test in the district between March 8 and March 14.

Compared to the previous week, there was a 12.7 per cent rise in the number of Covid tests carried out in South Somerset to 22,740.