Children under five are being admitted to hospital with coronavirus in record numbers as covid cases sweep through the country
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Another 92 children aged between 0 and 5 were admitted to hospital with Covid in England in just one day this week, latest government figures show.
The figure for December 28 is almost double the number who were admitted on Christmas Day, just three days earlier, which saw a then record of 50 babies and toddlers in just 24 hours.
There were also 53 youngsters aged between 6 years old and 17 years old admitted on to wards in the same 24 hours, meaning a total of 145 children in one day.
Children made up 10 per cent of all 1455 people admitted to hospital with covid that day, which included 325 of those aged over 85.
The numbers also show that 621 children were admitted to English hospitals with coronavirus in the week to December 28, which is the biggest weekly rise in children being admitted since the pandemic began.
In comparison, 256 children were admitted in the week to November 28, a month earlier.
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However NHS chiefs have urged caution interpreting the figures, as it is not clear how many cases were detected when children were taken to hospital for non-Covid reasons.
The figures were released as part of the government’s daily coronavirus data, and show a significant rise in admissions in children.
A UK Health Security Agency spokeswoman previously told the Mirror: “With Covid cases rising across the population we have been clear that we can expect more cases among all age groups including children.
“The number of children in hospital who have tested positive for Covid-19 remains proportionately very low but we continue to monitor the data very closely.
“It is crucial that we all play our part to slow the spread of infection.
“We urge everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated without delay and to wear a mask in crowded spaces, on public transport and in shops.
“Make sure to take a lateral flow test before meeting up with friends and family. Please also wash your hands regularly and ventilate rooms well.
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“If you have any Covid-19 symptoms stay at home and get a PCR test as soon as possible.”
Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents hospitals and other trusts in England, said that an increase in hospitalisations could be explained by people without Covid symptoms going into hospital for other reasons but testing positive during their stay.
He told Sky News: “As the number of cases in the community rises, we are definitely seeing more people who’ve got incidental Covid.
“In other words, people who haven’t got symptoms have come in for something else and then when they come into hospital, they’re testing positive.
“So what our chief executives are saying is just be careful about over interpreting the data.”
On December 28, there were 98,515 coronavirus cases reported in England.