THE Royal Bolton Hospital is bracing itself for a rise in coronavirus patients.

Three hospital wards are open to treat covid-19 patients at the hospital, as the numbers admitted continues to rise.

Under plans drawn up more could be opened.

Figures seen by The Bolton News show that there are 56 patients with the virus in the hospital as of October 20.

In October there have been 26 deaths, with five deaths in a week.

There are seven covid patients in critical care and 10 patients were admitted or diagnosed with coronavirus in 24 hours.

A total of 47 patients are on wards or intermediate care beds.

Medical teams are now ready for a further escalation of cases.

This includes opening more wards and critical care beds, medics accessing PPE, and monitoring oxygen provision as part of plans for an increase in patients.

But a much smaller number of patients are being ventilated in the first 24 hours - 24.5 per cent compared to 58.1 per cent.

Since September 1, the hospital has 138 admissions with a positive test, with 17 including a stay on critical care.

Of the patients admitted, 22 per cent were from a BAME background, 35 per cent were aged over 65 and 59 per cent 17-74.

Cllr Sue Haworth Labour spokesperson on health said: “The public are hearing about an increase in hospital admissions of people with Covid-19 symptoms and also the need for some of the patients to have intensive care in the specialist services at the Trust.Whilst numbers of patients may not be as high as the peak of the first wave of Covid, the public are once again mindful of the challenge that NHS staff have, to care for patients as numbers of Covid patients look like they are rising.”

Cases are rising in all age group with under-15s now seeing the lowest rates following a bigger increase in rates amongst the over 65sRates are lowest in the under 10s ­— but testing rates may be lower especially in the under 5s

Rates in secondary age children have risen slightly in the last week, after several consecutive weeks of reductions.At the end of September the hospital had 34 patients being treated with the virus, of which four were in a critical condition. At the end of August there were just two covid admissions.