Hospital admissions for Covid-19 patients surged by 33 per cent in just seven days, official data reveals.
The biggest spike was recorded in the South of England, amid warnings the spread of infections is gathering steam in the region.
There were 6,661 infected patients sent to hospitals in England in the week ending October 25, compared to 5,009 new admissions the week before.
The number of patients hooked up to mechanical ventilators also rose 25 per cent in the same time frame, jumping from 3,298 to 4,122.
It can take Covid-19 patients several weeks to fall severely ill, meaning the consequences of spikes in cases are only just beginning to be felt.
Infections surged 8.6 per cent yesterday after 23,065 cases were recorded. Deaths are also rising quickly, and surged 48.1 per cent compared to last week to 280.
The South East - which has so far dodged Tier Three - recorded the biggest spikes in Covid-19 hospital admissions, by 53 per cent, and the number of Covid-19 patients on mechanical ventilators, by 68 per cent.
It comes after the Government was warned by officials yesterday that space in all hospitals - including Nightingales - could run out on December 17 unless further action is taken to curb the rising tide of infections.
The figures pile more pressure on Boris Johnson to act after SAGE warned the second wave could cause a further 85,000 deaths.
Hospital admissions in England have risen 33 per cent in seven days, official data shows
The highest spike was recorded in the South East, where they rose by 53 per cent
Hospital admissions in England leapt by a third in the week ending October 25 - the latest for which data is available.
KEY: Region, percentage rise, Covid-19 patients admitted to hospital in week ending October 18, and in week ending October 25.
South East: 53 per cent, 276 to 423
East of England: 52 per cent, 209 to 318
Midlands: 47 per cent, 919 to 1,347
North East: 44 per cent, 1,209 to 1,739
South West: 42 per cent, 217 to 309
London: 38 per cent, 530 to 729
North West: 9 per cent, 1,649 to 1,796
ENGLAND: 33 per cent, 5,009 to 6,661
KEY: Region, percentage rise, total Covid-19 patients on ventilators in week ending October 18, and in week ending October 25.
South East: 68 per cent, 76 to 128
Midlands: 43 per cent, 640 to 912
East of England: 37 per cent, 136 to 186
South West: 28 per cent, 110 to 141
North West: 27 per cent, 1,029 to 1,309
London: 22 per cent, 536 to 656
North East: 2 per cent, 771 to 790
ENGLAND: 25 per cent, 3,298 to 4,122