35 more coronavirus deaths in region as UK death toll rises by 30 per cent in one day
More than 200 people have now died from coronavirus across the Black Country, Birmingham and Staffordshire.
The news was announced yesterday afternoon as the UK death toll increased by 563 - or more than 30 per cent - to 2,352 in what was by far the biggest single-day increase in the country since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
A total of 486 were confirmed to have died in England, with the country's youngest victim 13-year-old Mohamed Abdulwahab among those included in the figures.
Mohamed was among the 20 patients confirmed to have died who did not have underlying health conditions.
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In the Black Country, Birmingham and Staffordshire, a further 35 deaths were announced yesterday as the region's death toll reached 212.
These included 11 in Dudley, nine in Wolverhampton, 13 across Sandwell and Birmingham and two in Staffordshire.
There were also eight deaths in Worcestershire – with seven at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and one at Worcester Health and Care NHS Trust.
In total, 58 people have now died at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, 41 at the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, 18 at the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, two at the Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust and 93 across all the Birmingham NHS trusts – including Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust which runs Sandwell General and City Hospital.
A total of 27 people have died in Worcestershire.
The death figures released each day refer to the deaths of coronavirus patients confirmed in a 24-hour period, and include patients who died several days ago but whose families had not been informed or who needed further testing.
NHS England said in a statement: "A further 486 people, who tested positive for the Coronavirus (Covid-19) have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 2,137.
"Patients were aged between 13 and 99 years old. 20 of the 486 patients (aged between 13 and 93 years old) had no known underlying health condition.
"Their families have been informed."
It came as the Government cane under increasing pressure over Covid-19 testing and the provision of protective equipment for NHS staff.
Around 8,000 test per days are currently being carried out across the UK even though ministers previously claimed a target of 10,000 tests per day had been hit.
At present, the focus is on testing patients in hospital to see if they have coronavirus, with NHS trusts told earlier in the week they should use up to 15 per cent of any spare testing capacity for NHS staff.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has now scrapped that cap, telling NHS hospital labs to use all spare capacity to test their frontline workers.
Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers, which represents NHS trusts, said maximum testing capacity in the UK was currently “very constrained” at around 13,000 tests per day.
Meanwhile Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has become the fourth Cabinet minister to have self-isolated due to Covid-19.
The Government has blamed a global lack of reagents needed to carry out tests, though the chemical industry in the UK suggested there were no shortages.
Locally, a Muslim leader in Walsall has spoken out to voice his fears that people are continuing to meet and are thus sprading the virus despite advice to keep apart.
And the widow of a Bridgnorth man who died after contracting Covid-19 has warned people to protect their loved ones as she paid tribute to her husband.
Police have also been given new guidance over how to enforce new restrictions after West Midlands Police Chief Constable David Thompson revealed only two people had been charged for flouting the rules in the region as of yesterday.
- An earlier version of this story said 62 people had died at Wolverhampton and 216 had died across the region. After confirmation from the Royal Wolverhampton Health Trust these figures have now been updated to 58 and 212. The error was due to deaths we had already confirmed with the trust later being included in NHS England figures.