YORK Hospital is now treating 136 Covid patients on six wards as the number of seriously ill people soars in the wake of rising infection rates.

The number of designated Covid wards has doubled in a fortnight.

The Press reported on New Year's Eve that the hospital was looking after 63 patients who had tested positive for the virus on three designated Covid wards.

The total number of such patients being treated by the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust is even higher, with scores more at Scarborough Hospital.

The trust sasid yesterday that it had 187 confirmed and suspected Covid-19 inpatients across the trust, which compares with 166 earlier this week and 140 last Friday.

The trust revealed earlier this week that it had had to postpone some planned operations due to take place in coming weeks, following an increase in the number of such patients and a further anticipated further rise.

It said this was necessary so it could release additional beds and redeploy staff.

However, Chief operating officer Wendy Scott said it would still carry out urgent operations, for example cancer surgery, and use local independent hospitals' facilities.

“Our senior medical staff are reviewing all planned surgical admissions to prioritise the most urgent patients for the surgical beds we have available," she said.