Wolverhampton and Birmingham coronavirus patients die as UK death toll doubles
Read the latest as new coronavirus deaths are confirmed in Wolverhampton and Birmingham as the UK death toll reaches 21.
Patients in Wolverhampton and Birmingham were among the 10 latest coronavirus deaths to be confirmed as the UK death toll rose to 21.
All 10 were over 60 and had underlying health conditions, NHS England said.
The local patients who died were men aged in their 80s and were being treated at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton and City Hospital in Birmingham.
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It means four coronavirus patients have died in the Black Country and Birmingham: Two in Wolverhampton, one in Dudley and one in Birmingham.
Meanwhile the first case of coronavirus in the Sandwell borough has been diagnosed as the number of officially confirmed cases in the UK rose from 798 on Friday to 1,140 on Saturday.
The amount of people who have actually contracted the virus is likely to be much higher as people reporting mild symptoms are being told to stay at home and not be tested under the latest Government guidance.
The Government has now announced that elderly people will be asked to self-isolate for four months and that it is seeking powers to allow the police to arrest and forcibly quarantine people who are sick with the virus but are not self-isolating.
- Elderly men from Wolverhampton and Birmingham are among 10 new coronavirus deaths confirmed on Saturday.
- Out of 21 UK deaths, four have been in the Black Country and Birmingham.
- The UK death toll has risen from 11 to 21 in one day, while the number of confirmed cases has risen from 798 to 1,140.
- Sandwell's first Covid-19 diagnosed was confirmed on Saturday.
- Visits are being restricted at many hospitals across the Black Country and Staffordshire.
- UK is preparing to introduce much stronger measures and ramp up its public information campaign
- Spain has followed Italy in introducing a national lockdown.
- Molineux and the Wolves Megastore have been closed in line with the Premier League postponement.
Many hospitals across the region have now banned visits on most of their wards in a bid to restrict the spread of the virus, while some GP practices have reduced the amount of face-to-face appointments.
Events continue to be cancelled and Wolves has announced the club is closing Molineux, including its shop and museum, in line with the Premier League postponement until April 4.
Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England, said: "I am sorry to confirm 10 further patients who have tested positive for Covid-19 in England have died.
"All 10 individuals were in the at risk groups. I understand this increase in the number of deaths linked to Covid-19 will be a cause for concern for many.
"The public should know every measure we are taking is seeking to save lives and protect the most vulnerable.
"Every single one of us has a role to play in achieving this. If you have a new continuous cough or high temperature, please stay at home for seven days.
"I also encourage everyone to be washing their hands for 20 seconds regularly.
"I offer my sincere condolences to the families and friends who have received this difficult news. I ask that their privacy is respected at this time."
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A Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust spokesperson said: "Sadly, we can confirm that a man who was being cared for at New Cross Hospital, and had tested positive for COVID-19, has died.
"The patient, was in his 80s and had underlying health conditions.
"His family has been informed and our thoughts and condolences are with them at this difficult and distressing time.
"The media are asked to respect the wishes of the families, and the interests of staff at the hospital to avoid any disruption to operational services."
A Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust spokesperson said: "Sadly, we can confirm that a man who was being cared for at City Hospital, and had tested positive for COVID-19, has died.
"The patient, was in his mid 80s and had underlying health conditions.
"His family have been informed and our thoughts and condolences are with them at this difficult and distressing time."
Sandwell and Walsall cases confirmed
Sandwell's first case of coronavirus was confirmed on Saturday, meaning every borough in the Black Country now has diagnosed patients after Walsall's first two cases were confirmed on Friday.
Lisa McNally, Director of Public Health for Sandwell, said: “I’d like to reassure people that we are working with health partners at a regional and national level to do everything we can to stop the virus spreading and ensure the people of Sandwell are protected.
“It's really important that everyone follows the latest guidance announced on Thursday about staying at home if you show even the slightest symptoms of coronavirus.
"For most people who get coronavirus, it will be a mild infection, but we all have a role to play in protecting the most vulnerable people in society.
“Good hygiene is the best prevention and there are some simple steps you can take to protect you and your family by washing your hands regularly and thoroughly using soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time and, if you cough, to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue and dispose of it immediately.”
It comes as plans get under way to dramatically escalate the UK’s fight against coronavirus with measures to shield the elderly from the disease and plans to isolate entire households.
Boris Johnson will also personally urge manufacturers to shift their production lines to build ventilators as the NHS prepares for a significant increase in cases of Covid-19.
And the Government is in talks with private hospitals about the possibility of taking over beds in a further sign of the pressures that will face the health service at the peak of the coronavirus outbreak.
Retailers have pleaded with shoppers only to buy what they need after items were left out of stock and there were huge queues at supermarkets across the Black Country, Staffordshire and the UK on Saturday.
Meanwhile an advertising blitz featuring England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty is being launched to combat the spread of coronavirus.
The public information campaign will hammer home the need for people to self-isolate for a week if they develop a high temperature or a continuous cough.
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