Coronavirus death toll rises by 18 in Black Country, Birmingham and Staffordshire
Eighteen more patients have died of coronavirus in the Black Country, Staffordshire and Birmingham, bringing the total in the region to 160.
NHS England today confirmed that eight people had died in Wolverhampton alongside six people in Dudley, two in Sandwell and West Birmingham and two in Staffordshire.
It means a total of 1,284 people have now died in England from Covid-19.
The death figures released each day refer to the deaths of coronavirus patients confirmed in a 24-hour period, and includes patients who died several days ago but whose families had not been informed or who needed further testing.
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This may account for why the total death toll in Walsall remains at two, despite tributes being paid to a coronavirus patient who died at the Manor Hospital on Saturday.
All eight of the Wolverhampton patients included in the latest statistics died on Saturday.
A spokesman for NHS England said: "A further 159 people, who tested positive for the Coronavirus (Covid-19) have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in England to 1,284.
"Patients were aged between 32 and 98 years old and all but four patients (aged between 56 and 87 years old) had underlying health conditions.
"Their families have been informed."
Of the 160 patients so far confirmed to have died in the region, 49 died in Wolverhampton, 72 died in Sandwell and Birmingham, 26 died in Dudley, two died in Walsall and 11 died in Staffordshire.
The death toll is broken down by the health trust where the patients died and as the Sandwell and West Birmingham Trust runs hospitals in both boroughs (City Hospital in Birmingham and Sandwell General in West Bromwich) there is no specific death toll for Sandwell or Birmingham.
Two more deaths at hospitals in Worcestershire were also confirmed on Monday.
9,000 patients in England
More than 9,000 people who have tested positive for coronavirus are being treated in hospitals across England, NHS England’s chief executive Sir Simon Stevens has said.
Speaking to the BBC on a visit to the new NHS Nightingale Hospital in London, Sir Simon said that the number of patients will increase, but explained that services set up to handle additional capacity will be available later this week.
Sir Simon also said that NHS England will be able to double the number of coronavirus tests it has available for staff by the end of this week.
It was announced last week that around 800 samples would be processed over the weekend at the first of three new hub laboratories set up by the Government for the duration of the crisis.
Around one in four NHS doctors are currently off work sick or in isolation, according to the head of Royal College of Physicians.
Meanwhile, Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London and author of a report which warned of mass deaths if the UK did not introduce strict controls, said there were signs the rate of hospital admissions was slowing.
It comes as Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s chief adviser, became the latest in Westminster to self-isolate after developing symptoms.
He joins Boris Johnson, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, who are all in self-isolation due to Covid-19.
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