A NATIONAL circuit-breaker lockdown is not needed to protect the health service, NHS documents show.
The data — seen by The Sun — shows just 542 hospital beds are taken by Covid patients across the South.
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And there are fewer than 300 patients being treated for the bug in the East of England.
Meanwhile, London had 610 ward beds with infected patients on Tuesday, compared with nearly 5,000 in early April.
Only areas already affected by Tiers 2 and 3 restrictions have more than 1,000 beds taken up by Covid patients — suggesting a targeted approach is appropriate. In the Midlands there are 1,090 victims on wards, in the North East and Yorkshire 1,436 and in the North West 2,099.
Across England, 6,072 NHS beds are taken up by Covid patients — roughly a third of the figure in the April peak.
Professor Carl Heneghan, from the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University, said the data did not support calls for national circuit breakers.
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He said: “The whole purpose of circuit breakers is to prevent the health service from being overwhelmed.
“But for much of the country, this is far from the case.”
He added: “The numbers simply do not justify another national lockdown.”
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