The number of patients going to A&E in England last month plunged to the lowest on record, NHS statistics show.
The first set of figures to show the effect of the Covid-19 shutdown also reveal a sharp rise in waiting times for routine treatments and a drop in referrals for urgent cancer care.
There were 916,581 visits to casualty departments in April — a fall of more than half, 57 per cent, or 1.2 million compared with the same month last year.
The statistics give weight to concerns among doctors and NHS managers that people have been staying at home even when they have serious conditions that need treatment.
NHS Providers, which represents health service trusts, warned today that services were braced to deal with