Covid cases in Staffordshire and Black Country increase by more than 1,000 in 24 hours

The number of coronavirus cases in the Black Country and Staffordshire increased by more than 1,000 in the space of 24 hours, official figures show.

A total of 39,906 people had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 in Sandwell when the UK coronavirus daily dashboard was updated on July 21 – an increase of 295 from the previous day.

In Wolverhampton it increased by 186 to 28,524; in Dudley it increased by 259 to 31,649; and in Walsall it increased by 166 to 29,782.

While over in Staffordshire, the number of people testing positive in Stafford increased by 70 to 10,390; in Cannock Chase it increased by 75 to 8,317; and in South Staffordshire it increased by 71 to 10,020.

Across the UK, the number of recorded cases increased by 43,404 over the period to 5,563,006.

The rate of infection in Sandwell now stands at 12,150 cases per 100,000 people, 10,831 in Wolverhampton, 10,432 in Walsall, 9,841 in Dudley, 8,912 in South Staffordshire, 8,254 in Cannock Chase, and 7,569 in Stafford.

The average rate of infection in England is 8,619 per 100,000 people.

It comes as Covid cases among young people continue to rise in Walsall – with health bosses urging them to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Members of Walsall Council’s health and wellbeing board heard how there was a low take up of jabs amongst people aged under 35 years old, alongside a rising number of people going to hospital with coronavirus from the same age groups.

Residents have also been urged to keep following basic rules and wear masks in public places despite the lifting of restrictions on July 19.

David Loughton, chief executive of Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust and interim chief of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust said he had received some criticism for allowing TV cameras into New Cross Hospital earlier this week.

He added Covid measures will remain in place at the two hospitals in the coming months.

He said: “I have taken some grief in social media because I did allow a camera crew into Wolverhampton.

“They interviewed a 31-year-old male who used to go to the gym everyday and thought it wouldn’t effect him.

“He was interviewed when he was on concentrated oxygen when he wasn’t in a great way. He actually said he wished he had been vaccinated.

“So although I took criticism, it did send a really powerful message and the vast majority of people in hospital are under 50 years of age now and quite a number in their 20s and four in intensive care in their mid-20s.”

According to figures, only 55.9 per cent of the 18 to 24 age group have had their first dose and 18.9 per cent have had their second.

Among those aged 25 to 29 years old, 57.6 per cent have had their first dose and 24.2 per cent have had their second.

Board chairman Stephen Craddock said: “The vaccination programme is the best way of a return to normal. It’s effective and can reduce the chances of hospitalisation and death by over 90 per cent.

“We’ve had an excellent uptake in Walsall but there are still substantial numbers who haven’t taken the opportunity to get their jab. That is particularly the case with the under 30s.

“The centre of the Saddlers Centre is open and you can walk in there.

“Most of the cases presented in A&E are in younger people and it is putting a huge strain on resources and some elective surgery is being deferred to cope with demand.

“The virus hasn’t gone away and the basic rules of hands, face and space and fresh air are your best defence against the virus.”

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