Coronavirus: Black Country, Birmingham and Staffordshire death toll up by 24 per cent to 358
More than 350 people have now died in the Black Country, Birmingham and Staffordshire after contracting coronavirus.
A further 70 deaths were confirmed in the region on Friday as the the UK death toll rose by 684 to 3,605.
It means for the third day in a row the national death toll has increased by its highest amount in 24 hours.
The 24 per cent rise in the West Midlands included 12 new deaths in Wolverhampton, 14 in Walsall, 10 in Staffordshire, nine in Dudley and 25 across Sandwell and Birmingham.
In Walsall the death toll increased by 275 per cent in one day to a total of 22, although the deaths confirmed today included patients who died as far back as six days ago.
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In total 358 people have now died across the Black Country, Birmingham and Staffordshire after testing positive for Covid-19.
- 81 at the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust
- 51 at the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust
- 32 at the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust
- 22 at the Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
- 172 across all the Birmingham NHS trusts, including 68 at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust
A total of have 35 coronavirus patients have died in Worcestershire, where eight new deaths were announced today at the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and Worcestershire Health and Care Trust.
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 604 people, who tested positive for the coronavirus (Covid-19) have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 3,302.
"Patients were aged between 24 and 100 years old. A total of 34 of the 604 patients, aged between 27 and 92 years old, had no known underlying health condition.
"Their families have been informed."
Stay at home!
It came as people were urged to stay at home this weekend, despite the warm weather, to prevent the spread of coronavirus, as a key Government adviser warned that the lockdown measures are merely a “placeholder”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the public should stick with the social distancing rules and resist the temptation to enjoy the sunshine forecast for swathes of the UK on Saturday and Sunday.
But it came as Professor Graham Medley, a pandemic modeller advising the Government, warned that Britain had “painted itself into a corner” with no clear exit strategy from the Covid-19 crisis.
He told The Times: “This disease is so nasty that we had to suppress it completely. Then we’ve kind of painted ourselves into a corner, because then the question will be, what do we do now?
“We will have done three weeks of this lockdown, so there’s a big decision coming up on April 13. In broad terms are we going to continue to harm children to protect vulnerable people, or not?”
Prof Medley added: “If we carry on with lockdown it buys us more time, we can get more thought put into it, but it doesn’t resolve anything, it’s a placeholder.”
His comments came after England’s chief nursing officer, Ruth May, urged people to think of two nurses who died after contracting coronavirus and “stay home for them”.
Areema Nasreen and Aimee O’Rourke, both mothers of three children, died alongside two healthcare assistants, it was announced on Friday.
Ms May, speaking at the daily Downing Street press conference, said: “This weekend is going to be very warm and it will be very tempting to go out and enjoy those summer rays.
“But please, I ask you to remember Aimee and Areema. Please stay at home for them.”
She added: “I worry that there’s going to be more and I want to honour them today and recognise their service.”