Six more Black Country coronavirus deaths confirmed as UK death toll hits 104

Six more patients have died after testing positive for coronavirus in the Black Country as the UK death toll reached 104.


The first death in Sandwell was announced on Wednesday along with three more deaths in Wolverhampton, one in Dudley, and two in Birmingham.

A Walsall Council meeting was then told that two people in the borough have died after testing positive, after the first death at Walsall Manor Hospital was confirmed earlier in the week.

It means so far 14 patients have been confirmed to have died after testing positive for coronavirus in the Black Country: Six in Wolverhampton, five in Dudley, one in Sandwell and two in Walsall.

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As of 9am on Wednesday 2,626 people had tested positive for coronavirus in the UK according to Public Health England, including 22 in Wolverhampton, 14 in Walsall, 10 in Dudley and six in Sandwell. Ten cases have so far been confirmed in Staffordshire and 25 in Birmingham.

The true figure is likely to be much higher as people with mild symptoms are no longer being tested.

A Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust spokesman said: “The Trust can confirm that three patients in their 70s and 80s have died. All patients had underlying health conditions but they had all tested positive for Covid-19.

"All families have been informed and our condolences and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.

"We will not be commenting further and ask that everybody respects the family’s privacy."

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Diane Wake, chief executive of the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, said: "The trust can confirm that a patient in their 70s being treated for underlying health conditions has died.

"The patient had tested positive for Covid-19.

"The family has been informed and our condolences and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.

"We will not be commenting further and ask that everybody respects the family’s privacy."

Sandwell Council's leader Yvonne Davies expressed her condolences to the family of the first coronavirus patient to die in the borough.

She said: "We are extremely sad to hear of the first death from coronavirus in Sandwell. We would like to express our condolences and sympathies to the family at this awful time.

“We are working very closely with NHS partners, care providers and a wide range of services and organisations to protect and support our communities, especially older and other vulnerable people who are at most risk, and to prevent the spread of infection.

“We are following and sharing the latest advice from the Government and Public Health England and we urge people to take that advice seriously.

“Everyone must be responsible and take every measure possible to protect themselves and others by keeping social contact to a minimum.”

Sandwell’s director of public health, Lisa McNally, said it was important that people follow the guidance on self-isolation. That includes everyone in the household staying at home for 14 days if any member of that household develops a new, persistent cough or fever.

She added: “We should also do everything we can to avoid passing on the virus to older people and those with underlying health conditions. Both of these groups are more at risk of serious illness if they become infected.”

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The first death at Walsall Manor was confirmed on Tuesday after a woman in her 80s died last Thursday.

Richard Beeken, chief executive for Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said: "Sadly, we can confirm that a woman who was being cared for at Walsall Manor Hospital and tested positive for Covid-19, has died.

"The patient, who died on March 12, was in her 80s and had underlying health conditions.

"Her family has been informed and our thoughts and condolences are with them at this difficult and distressing time."

Schools and hospital units close

The news came as the UK death toll reached 104 and Boris Johnson confirmed that schools across the UK are to close to all pupils except those of key workers from Friday until further notice.

Mr Johnson said "exams will not take place as planned in May and June" and urged parents not to leave children in the care of grandparents or older relatives who are at higher risk of becoming seriously ill with coronavirus.

Meanwhile hospital bosses continue to restrict services as the Covid-19 outbreak places huge demands on the staff who aren't self-isolating.

Among the latest announcements was that the midwifery-led unit in Charles Street, Walsall, will be closed for births from Thursday.

The unit opened its doors on January 6 this year after being shut for three years but will still run other services such as the day-five heel prick clinics.

People expecting to give birth at the unit are asked to call Community Midwives on 01922 656248 from 1pm to 4.30pm or to call 01922 721172 ext 6967 for the out-of-hours service.

Yesterday it was confirmed that the Minor Injury Unit at Cannock Chase Hospital was closing temporarily to allow staff to be redeployed to help the most seriously ill patients at New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton.

Strict restrictions are also now in place at most hospitals in a bid to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

  • An earlier version of this story said there had been two deaths in Sandwell when in fact two patients being treated by Sandwell & West Birmingham NHS Trust had died. One patient was being cared for at Sandwell General Hospital and the other at Birmingham City Hospital, meaning only one patient was confirmed to have died in the Sandwell borough.

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