24 more coronavirus deaths confirmed in region's lowest daily rise this week
A total of 24 more people have died after testing positive for coronavirus in the Black Country, Birmingham and Staffordshire.
The deaths were among 765 new deaths confirmed across England on Thursday, bringing the total number of hospital deaths in the country to 7,248.
Patients were aged between 24 and 103 and of these 43 – aged between 33 and 99 years old – had no known underlying health conditions.
The UK-wide death toll increased by 881 to 7,978, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said at yesterday's daily briefing.
The 24 new deaths in the Black Country, Birmingham and Staffordshire mean 772 people have now died in the region after testing positive for Covid-19.
It was the smallest daily rise in the region this week, with no new death confirmed in Walsall or at University Hospitals Birmingham, the region's largest trust.
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At the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, which runs New Cross Hospital, six more people were confirmed to have died, taking the total to 126.
Four more deaths were confirmed at the Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Russells Hall, taking the total to 110, and five more deaths were announced at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, taking the total to 116. The trust runs Sandwell General and City Hospitals.
Six more deaths were confirmed at the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, which runs Stafford's County and Stoke Royal Hospital, meaning a total of 71.
And three more people were confirmed to have died at Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust – five have now died there overall.
Unusually no new deaths were reported at the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, which runs four hospitals in the city including Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
However with a total of 306 coronavirus deaths so far the trust has still had 78 more patients die after testing positive than any other UK health trust.
No new deaths were reported at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, where the death toll remains at 37.
Meanwhile four more Worcestershire deaths were confirmed, bringing the total in the county to 56.
The new deaths announced each day do not refer to deaths over the last 24 hours, only confirmation of deaths over a wide period and thus yesterday's drop does not necessarily mean a reduction in the amount of deaths in the region.
Police backed by Downing Street
It comes as Downing Street said police will have the “full support” of Government in enforcing the coronavirus lockdown.
As the country heads into the Easter bank holiday weekend, No 10 said it is at a “critical juncture” in the battle to curb the spread of the disease.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman made clear there can be no early lifting of the strict social distancing rules, urging the public to “stick with it”.
Meanwhile Boris Johnson’s condition “continues to improve” in intensive care where he has spent three nights while being treated for the coronavirus, Downing Street has said.
The Prime Minister had a “good night” in St Thomas’ Hospital in London and thanks the NHS for the “brilliant care” he has received, his official spokesman said on Thursday.
The weekly “claps for carers” have been providing “wonderful, unifying moments” for the country while it is hoped millions will turn out again at 8pm, his spokesman added.
He was said to be continuing with “standard oxygen treatment”, while it was indicated he has not taken part in any drug trials for Covid-19.
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