Express & Star

Eight Covid deaths in Black Country and South Staffordshire this week but end to pandemic is 'in sight'

People are still dying of coronavirus in the Black Country and South Staffordshire area with eight deaths in the region this week.

Eight people have died in the Black Country and South Staffordshire area in the last week.

With the World Health Organisation declaring the end is "in sight" and other major world events taking precedence - from the conflict in Ukraine to the recent death of Queen Elizabeth II - the coronavirus pandemic seems to be forgotten news.

But small numbers of people in our region are still dying as a result of the virus and transmission is still very much "robust."

The UK Covid dashboard is now updated weekly on Thursdays, and according to the latest Government figures, eight people have died across the Black Country and South Stafforshire in this weekly period.

The figures include two people from Wolverhampton, two people from Dudley, one person from Walsall and one person from Sandwell.

In addition to this, there were two more coronavirus deaths in the South Staffordshire area.

To be clear, the figures include anyone who died within 28 days of a positive test result for Covid-19, and whose usual residence was in one of the areas mentioned above.

According to the latest update, a total of 19,667 have died in the West Midlands within 28 days of a positive test.

*The source data can be viewed HERE.

Is the pandemic nearly over?

The Black Country and South Staffordshire data comes not long after the WHO said the end of the Covid-19 pandemic is “in sight”.

The organisation said weekly deaths from the virus around the world are at the lowest level since March 2020 – the month the UK first went into lockdown.

The director general of the international health body, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, told a press conference: “Last week, the number of weekly reported deaths from Covid-19 was the lowest since March 2020.

“We have never been in a better position to end the pandemic – we are not there yet, but the end is in sight.

“A marathon runner does not stop when the finish line comes into view, she runs harder, with all the energy she has left. So must we.

“We can see the finish line, we’re in a winning position. But now is the worst time to stop running.

“Now is the time to run harder and make sure we cross the line and reap the rewards of all our hard work.

“If we don’t take this opportunity now, we run the risk of more variants, more deaths, more disruption and more uncertainty. So let’s seize this opportunity.

How do we completely 'end' the pandemic?

The WHO has since released six short policy briefs that "outline the key actions that all governments must take now to finish the race."

The director general continued telling the press conference earlier this month: “We can end this pandemic together, but only if all countries, manufacturers, communities and individuals step up and seize this opportunity.”

The documents include guidance on testing, vaccination, best practice of managing the disease, maintaining infection control measures in health facilities, preventing the spread of misinformation and community engagement.

One of the papers says: “With access to and appropriate use of existing life-saving tools, Covid-19 can become a manageable disease with significantly reduced morbidity and mortality.”

The WHO has estimated that 19.8 million deaths were averted in 2021 thanks to Covid-19 vaccines, and 12 billion doses have been administered around the world.

But it warned that the virus still poses an “acute global emergency” and highlighted that during the first eight months of 2022 more than a million people died from Covid-19.

“Transmission of the virus continues to be robust,” the document says. “Repeated disease waves and the emergence of new variants continue to present risks and challenges.”