Three more Black Country coronavirus deaths confirmed as UK death toll hits 335
Three more coronavirus patients have been confirmed to have died in the Black Country as the UK death toll passed 330.
Two Wolverhampton patients and one Dudley patients were among 46 more people confirmed to have died by NHS England on Monday. It took the total UK death toll to 335.
The news came ahead of Boris Johnson putting the nation on lockdown and followed confirmation over the weekend that four Black Country residents had died – with two deaths in Wolverhampton, one in Dudley and one in Sandwell.
In Birmingham two people were confirmed to have died on Saturday – one at the Heartlands Hospital and another at the Good Hope Hospital.
The figures mean a total of 26 coronavirus patients have now died in the Black Country, with a further nine deaths in Birmingham.
David Loughton CBE, chief executive for the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, said: "We can confirm that two patients in their 60s and 70s who had underlying health conditions have passed away at New Cross Hospital.
"They had tested positive for Covid-19.
"Our thoughts and condolences remain with their families at this difficult time."
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One patient was also confirmed to have died at the Worcester Acute Hospitals NHS Trust on Monday and another at Telford's Princess Royal Hospital, bringing the total Telford death count to two.
Meanwhile a coronavirus case has been confirmed at HMP Oakwood, Britain's largest prison which is just north of Wolverhampton.
The news came as Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the Government was willing to take “more action” if needed to stop coronavirus from spreading.
Shops except for pharmacies and food retailers could also be ordered to shut under measures being considered by all UK leaders.
Tough measures were called for after a weekend which saw crowds gathering in open spaces across the UK despite guidance urging social distancing.
The Government has said it is safe to exercise as long as people keep at least two metres away from other people.
Some train services in the Black Country were also too busy for people to stay more than two metres apart during their commute on Monday morning.
And crowds were flocking to McDonald's across the Black Country and Staffordshire ahead of the UK-wide shutdown from 7pm on Monday.
In Walsall, a 36-year-old nurse and mother-of-three is on a ventilator in intensive care after contracting coronavirus.
Areema Nasreen is in a critical condition at Walsall Manor Hospital where she works.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4, Mr Hancock said he did not know why some people were ignoring the Government’s advice.
“It’s very selfish,” he said. “The NHS is doing everything it can and preparing for the spread of this virus.
“If people go within two metres of others who they don’t live with then they’re helping to spread the virus – and the consequences of that costs lives and it means that, for everyone, this will go on for longer.”
Mr Hancock said ministers were prepared to take stricter measures to clamp down on the spread of the virus if necessary.
Downing Street said ministers will be looking at data on how much social interaction is still taking place and “if that information shows they haven’t stopped then we will need to take further measures”.
Asked whether extra controls could be imposed as soon as Monday, the spokesman said: “We won’t hesitate to take any further measures if they are required.”
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