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Black Country and Birmingham coronavirus death toll passes 500

Another 32 coronavirus patients have been confirmed to have died in the Black Country and Birmingham as the region's death toll passed 500.

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Ventilators are in high demand due to the coronavirus pandemic

A six per cent rise in deaths in the region saw the Covid-19 death toll in Birmingham and the Black Country hit 502 on Sunday. With Staffordshire included the figure is 543.

It came as the UK-wide death toll increased by 621 to a total of 4,934.

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Of the 32 patients confirmed to have died on Sunday, 16 were being treated in Dudley and 11 were in the care of the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust which runs the region's biggest hospital, the Queen Elizabeth, and three other hospitals in Birmingham.

Five were confirmed at the Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, which runs Sandwell General and City hospitals.

No new deaths were confirmed in Wolverhampton, Walsall, Staffordshire or Worcestershire.

It means the latest death figures by hospital trust are as follows:

  • University Hospitals Birmingham: 214

  • Royal Wolverhampton: 92

  • Dudley Group: 80

  • Sandwell and West Birmingham: 76

  • University Hospitals of North Midlands: 41

  • Walsall Healthcare: 37

  • Worcestershire Acute Hospitals: 4

  • Worcestershire Health and Care: 2

  • Birmingham Community Healthcare: 2

  • Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham 1

In England 555 deaths were confirmed with the youngest patient aged 33 and the oldest of 103. Twenty nine of these patients had no underlying health conditions and were aged between 35 and 95.

The death toll in Wales increased by 12 to 166.

The increase of 74 deaths in the Midlands on Sunday was far smaller than the 212 confirmed on Saturday when the death toll at the University Hospitals Birmingham Trust doubled in one day and the total number of Black Country and Birmingham deaths increased by 44 per cent.

After Sunday's update, University Hospitals Birmingham remains the UK trust to have had the most coronavirus patients die but Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust.

The new death figures were confirmed as Health Secretary Matt Hancock said outdoor exercise could be banned if people flout the social distancing rules.

Mr Hancock said sunbathing in public spaces was against the Government guidance and told those who dared to disobey that they are putting their own and others’ lives at risk.

As temperatures rose across the country today, some parks in London closed because too many people had ignored the advice to stay at home.

However at Walsall Arboretum there were no signs of groups gathering on Sunday.

Walsall Arboretum was quiet on Sunday

Mr Hancock told the BBC: “We’ve said it’s OK to go for exercise because both the physical and mental health benefits of getting some exercise are really important.

“I don’t want to have to take away exercise as a reason to leave home… if too many people are not following the rules.

“At the moment the vast majority of people are (following the guidance) but people should not break the rules because that will mean that the virus spreads more and then we might have to take further action.”

The Red House Glass Cone in Stourbridge was lit up blue for the NHS on Saturday

He also confirmed that Boris Johnson continues to have a high temperature but is “OK” and in “good spirits” as he remains in self-isolation in Downing Street.

His warning came ahead of the Queen’s address to the nation, in which she will urge the country to prove that this generation is “as strong as any”.

In a televised message to be broadcast on Sunday evening, the head of state will recognise the pain felt by many families living through this “time of disruption”.

She will personally thank frontline NHS staff, care workers and others carrying out essential roles for their efforts, in what is expected to be a deeply personal message reflecting her experience in other difficult times.