Despite the record numbers of reported infections in the U.K. and hospital admissions rising in the past few weeks (though up to half are incidental admissions being treated for something else), Covid ICU occupancy has barely budged since the summer, and even declined in the past two days. In London, total Covid hospital patients also declined in the past two days. This time last year, with a third of the infection rate (according to the ONS) Covid ICU occupancy nationally was three and a half times higher, at around 3,000 patients, rising to a peak of 4,000 two weeks later.
Whether due to greater population immunity, a milder strain, or better treatments, this is obviously very welcome. It is also confirmation that the pandemic is well and truly over – we are basically now expending vast resources tracking the spread of a cold – and it is time for the Government to acknowledge this fact, lift all restrictions, end all emergency powers, and bring the state of emergency to an end.