‘Surge’ of Covid hospital patients in Peterborough expected once restrictions end

A “surge” of Covid hospitalisations are expected in Peterborough over the coming months, according to the city council’s new director of public health.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 6:17 am

Jyoti Atri said the final relaxation of restrictions in a fortnight would lead to rising case numbers and hospital patients.

She added that the Delta strain is now the “dominant variant” in Peterborough but that hospitalisations remain low despite difficulties in encouraging take-up of the vaccine.

Low uptake is said to be predominantly in central and urban areas of the city.

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There has been a low Covid-19 vaccine uptake in Peterborough
There has been a low Covid-19 vaccine uptake in Peterborough

In a new report for the council’s Adults and Health Scrutiny Committee, the director of public health said: “There is still expected to be a surge of cases and hospitalisations over summer and early autumn as the restrictions ease with the size of this being dependent on the speed of vaccine deployment, the impact of baseline measures still in place after Step 4 and whether people’s behaviours will have changed, for example with reduced levels of mobility.

“The findings of the modelling have been shared with the council’s joint management team and with partner agencies to ensure that capacity is in place to address the potential increase in infections and hospital admissions in late summer.”

The Delta strain has gone from initially being low in Peterborough to the dominant variant by early June.

However, as of June 15 there were just six positive cases at either Peterborough City Hospital or Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

Peterborough’s Covid case rate has been rising in recent weeks, although it remains below the average for England.

On June 21, there had been 329 deaths within 28 days of a positive test which is a rate of 162.7 deaths per 100,000 people, compared to 215.3 per 100,000 in England.

Regarding the vaccine take-up, as of June 20, 62.3 per cent of adults in Peterborough had received their first dose and 42.7 per cent had received a second dose, compared to 81.6 per cent and 59.9 per cent nationally.

The report states: “Within Peterborough, some of the central and urban areas have the lower levels of uptake.

“There is considerable ongoing work across the system to improve access and take up of Covid-19 vaccinations in Peterborough with the CCG increasing large walk-in clinics... as well as considerable community engagement efforts to publicise vaccine access and address any vaccine hesitancy.”