A quarter of coronavirus admissions to hospital are for people under the age of 55, NHS England’s chief executive has said.
The comments come as NHS England released data showing that the youngest person with no known underlying conditions whose death from Covid-19 was reported in the last 24 hours was aged 26.
Sir Simon Stevens told MPs that “in many parts of the country” coronavirus “is spreading out of control”.
He told the Commons Public Accounts Committee: “In London perhaps one in 30 people has the coronavirus, in parts of London it may be twice that number.
“If you look across other regions of England the issue is that coronavirus is once again on the rise.
“In Merseyside in just the last week there has been a further 50% increase in the number of Covid hospitalisations.
“So this is a very serious moment for the country and for the National Health Service.
“It’s worth remembering that this affects all ages – a quarter of the Covid admissions to hospital right now are for people aged under 55.”
Older people are those most at risk from Covid-19 and phase one of the Government’s vaccination policy covers those aged 50 and above.
But scientists say there are now more younger people in hospital than there were in the first wave.
This comes as many major hospital trusts in England have more Covid-19 patients now than in the last peak.