There aren’t 10,000 patients in hospital with Covid in Wales

13 December 2021
What was claimed

There are 10,000 people with Covid-19 in hospital in Wales, and 200 in critical care.

Our verdict

Welsh government figures show that in the week up to 9 December there were an average of 526 general and acute beds in hospital occupied for Covid-19 related reasons, and 39 invasively ventilated beds.

On Sky News on 12 December Dr Ruth Hopkins, a public health lecturer from the University of Swansea, gave a figure for the number of patients currently hospitalised with Covid-19 in Wales. She said: “I’ve just looked at the figures. There are 10,000—roughly 10,000—patients, inpatients, in hospitals with Covid in Wales, of which there are about 200 that are in critical care.” 

This isn’t correct. Data published by the Welsh government on 13 December shows that the average total number of general and acute beds occupied in hospitals for Covid-19 related reasons in the week up to 9 December was 526. This includes patients with a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19 and those recovering from the disease. Over the same period there were an average of 39 invasively ventilated beds occupied by people with Covid-19. 

The most recent daily data available is for 10 December. This shows 523 acute and general beds occupied by Covid-19 patients and 37 invasively ventilated beds.

We asked Dr Hopkins about the figure and she explained that she had misread the figures. She apologised for the error and told us she has since spoken to Sky News about the mistake. We’ve asked Sky News whether it plans to broadcast a correction and will update this fact check when we hear back.

Update 14 December 2021

We have updated this piece to include comment from Dr Hopkins.

We took a stand for good information.

After we published this fact check, we contacted Sky News to request they broadcast a correction after Dr Hopkins' error.
Sky News told us they made an on-air correction after Dr Hopkins made them aware of her mistake.

Don’t put up with bad information.

Add your name and join the fight for higher standards.

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.