he number of people in hospital in England with Covid-19 has started to fall, suggesting the latest wave of admissions may have peaked.
A total of 9,131 patients testing positive for coronavirus were in hospital as of 8am on October 26, according to NHS England.
This is down 12% from 10,387 a week earlier.
Patient numbers had been rising since mid-September, driven by a fresh wave of infections.
But this trend looks to have come to a halt in mid-October, since when the figures have started to drop.
The total number of Covid-19 patients has now for fallen nine days in a row.
Covid-19 hospital data is published every Thursday, so it may take another week or two before there is evidence of a steady downwards trend.
Patient numbers topped 14,000 in mid-July of this year at the peak of the wave of infections caused by the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the virus.
This was well below the levels seen during the early waves of the pandemic.
Around two-thirds of patients in hospital who test positive for Covid-19 are being treated primarily for something else.
But they need to be isolated from patients who do not have the virus, putting extra demands on staff already struggling to clear a record backlog of treatment.
Figures published last week by the Office for National Statistics showed that infections were still rising in England earlier this month, though the rate of increase was slowing.
The number of people in private households testing positive for coronavirus in the week to October 10 was 1.7 million, or around one in 30 – up from 1.5 million, or one in 35, in the previous week.
Infections in England peaked at 3.1 million during the summer BA.4/BA.5 wave.