The lockdown was introduced as the means to prevent a hypothetical scenario where people infected with coronavirus could overwhelm the hospitals and prevent others from getting treatment.
Pictured: people infected with coronavirus overwhelming a hospital.
By mid April, it was clear that hospitals were never going to be overwhelmed.
The number of people needing hospital treatment for coronavirus infections has plummeted since the peak of the outbreak in the UK.
In the seven days leading up to August 5, 375 people were hospitalised with Covid-19 in England, compared to 18,638 between March 28 and April 3.
While the number of patients in hospitals would be expected to drop as cases decline and the virus fades out, data suggests fewer people are getting severely ill.
The proportion of coronavirus patients who need hospital care – regardless of the true number – seems to be falling.
Since late April, when testing first started to become available outside of hospitals, the proportion of positive cases being hospitalised has dropped from around a quarter to less than 10 per cent, averaging seven per cent – just one in every 14 – over the past week.
Experts say better treatments, more hospital capacity and some levels of immunity may have helped push down the need for hospital care.
Survival rates have improved, too, with eight in 10 intensive care patients now making it through their illness, up from fewer than half in April.
The NHS faces a huge backlog of non-coronavirus patients after emptying its hospital wards to prepare for a surge in people sick with Covid-19. Falling levels of hospitalisations could help the health service get back on its feet if the virus remains under control.
The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 in England peaked at 17,172 on April 12, and the number of people on ventilators was highest on the same day, at 2,881.
This has since plummeted by 96 per cent to 638 people in hospital on August 7, and 98 per cent to 57 people on ventilators.
Patients on ventilators are usually the most ill and have to be hooked up to the life support machine to help them breathe by forcing air into their damaged lungs.
The most new admissions to hospitals happened on March 31 when there were 3,099 people taken into hospital with the disease.
On August 5 – the most recent day for which there is data – just 21 people were admitted.
Although there has been positive progress in hospital numbers and deaths tumbling, new cases of coronavirus are beginning to creep up again.
Lockdown has lifted across much of the UK and people are allowed to socialise indoors and to visit pubs and shops, all of which increase the risk of transmission.
Despite cases rising – there were more than 1,000 diagnosed yesterday for the first time since June – hospital admissions continue to fall.
Why do we need to still do the social distancing thing if hospital admissions continue to fall while the number of people testing positive for the virus continue to rise?
If more people are getting infected, but fewer are dying or needing treatment, then the virus is clearly nothing to be concerned about.
The 21 people admitted on August 5 is the lowest on record and the number has risen above 100 only once since July 16.
The total number of people in hospital is also at its lowest level so far, at 638, down from 1,821 on July 7 and 4,325 on June 7.
Dr Ron Daniels, a critical care doctor at University Hospitals Birmingham, said he thought a resurgence in the number of people in hospitals was ‘highly unlikely’.
He told the Express: ‘The pubs have been open for over a month, people have been socially interacting heavily during that time and the natural history of this disease is that if you contract the virus and you’re going to end up in hospital, you’re pretty much in hospital within 15 days.’
This is more evidence pointing towards what we’ve been writing about since the start of this thing: the virus is about as dangerous as the flu, and the government is using it as an excuse to increase its power.
Now that most of the old and sick people who were going to die this year from whatever have died, the government is running out of corpses to blame on the virus.