Home   Kent   News   Article

Covid cases in Kent on rise due to BA.4 and BA.5, Omicron subvariants, as headaches revealed as top symptom

The number of people in hospital with Covid in Kent is up by almost a quarter in a week while cases jumped by more than a third.

Across the county's four main NHS trusts there were 171 Covid patients on June 28, up from 139 the previous week.

Cases of Covid in Kent jumped by 36% week-on-week Stock picture
Cases of Covid in Kent jumped by 36% week-on-week Stock picture

It matches a national trend of rising cases since the Jubilee weekend, with 2.3 million people testing positive for the virus in the last week of June.

This means far more people are catching Covid now than in the past two summers of the pandemic – 3.35% of the population this year compared to 1.57% in 2021 and below 0.1% in 2020.

In Kent there was just one person on a ventilator on June 28, suggesting current cases are far less severe than during previous waves.

At Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells hospitals there were 47 patients, up from 33, and in East Kent there were 65, up from 57.

There were 24 at Medway, up from 14, and at Darent Valley there were 54, up from 35.

In the week to June 26 3,902 people tested positive across Kent and Medway, up by 1,025 on the previous week's figure (36%).

The increase in cases is being driven by the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron.

At the end of June there were 8,928 people in hospital with Covid in England, up from 6,401 the previous week, while intensive care patients was up slightly.

Health chief Dame Jenny Harries said it does not look as though the current wave has peaked, and urged people to “go about their normal lives” but in a “precautionary way”.

She told the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme: “It does not look as though that wave has finished yet, so we would anticipate that hospital cases will rise. And it is possible, quite likely, that they will actually peak over the previous BA.2 wave.

“But I think the overall impact, we will not know. It is easy to say in retrospect, it is not so easy to model forward.”

Health chief Dame Jenny Harries says hospital cases will continue to rise. Picture by Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street
Health chief Dame Jenny Harries says hospital cases will continue to rise. Picture by Pippa Fowles / No 10 Downing Street

She said the BA.5 variant is “really pushing and driving this current wave”.

She added that people should “go about their normal lives but in that precautionary way”, highlighting handwashing, keeping distance where possible and wearing a face covering in enclosed, poorly ventilated places.

The interim chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery said: “Trust leaders know they are in for a bumpy ride over the coming months as they tackle new and unpredictable variants of Covid-19 alongside grappling with seasonal flu pressures which may hit us earlier than usual this year.

“The policy of living with Covid does not mean Covid has gone away. The latest data shows we cannot afford to be complacent with currently small but concerning increases over the past week in the number of patients both being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 and those needing a ventilator.

“Warnings from Dr Jenny Harries today that community infection rates and hospital admissions are expected to rise further is concerning.

“Waves of Covid-19 and flu will put additional pressure on stretched NHS staff and services and their efforts to tackle waiting lists, deliver efficiencies and transform the NHS, as well as on our hard-pressed colleagues in social care.”

Meanwhile a recent study from the ZOE Covid Study app, which is used by participants who regularly report on their health and symptoms and whether they have tested positive for the virus or not, revealed a headache is now the most common symptom of Covid.

A total of 69% of users reported the ailment prior to infection and said it is “more common” than the other classic signs.

It has also been reported that some people even get a headache before they notice any breathing problems.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More