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Norfolk hospitals record first coronavirus deaths for six weeks

PUBLISHED: 16:45 01 October 2020 | UPDATED: 09:34 02 October 2020

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn and James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston. Picture: Archant

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn and James Paget University Hospital in Gorleston. Picture: Archant

Archant

Two patients have died from coronavirus - the first pandemic related deaths in Norfolk’s hospitals for more than six weeks.

One patient died at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on September 29, the latest data from NHS England shows.

The death was the first to be seen at the NNUH since August 18. It brings to total number of people to have died from coronavirus related illness on its wards to 125.

The Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in King’s Lynn has also recorded the death of a patient linked to Covid-19 on September 26.

The QEH in Kings Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtThe QEH in Kings Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Its previous last recorded death had been almost three months ago on July 9. In total 149 coronavirus patients have died at the QEII.

MORE: Autumn flu season prompts Norfolk coronavirus prevention campaign

The deaths come as Norfolk has seen a steady increase in the number of positive Covid-19 cases have risen in six of the eight local authorities.

Figures from Public Health England data for the seven days to September 25 showed just Broadland and King’s Lynn and West Norfolk have seen numbers fall in the previous week.

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: Mike PageNorfolk and Norwich University Hospital. Picture: Mike Page

However the figures showed that the region still has amongst the lowest infection rates in the country.

Queen Elizabeth II Hospital, which in total has treated 462 patients with coronavirus since its first three cases were admitted on March 15, saw six new cases in September, that compares with just a single case in August.

On Wednesday September 30, the NNUH said it was still treating one patient on its wards with Covid-19 and another six who had previously had the virus but were recovering in hospital.

The deaths are the first recorded at Norfolk hospitals for six weeks. Picture: PA ImagesThe deaths are the first recorded at Norfolk hospitals for six weeks. Picture: PA Images

A NNUH spokesman said: “We have a small number of patients who have or are recovering from Covid-19 at NNUH at the moment. However, we are not complacent and have robust and well-rehearsed plans in place for a potential rise in coronavirus cases.

“We are well prepared with a new nine-bedded isolation unit that will be open this autumn and we have also opened 68 new beds in the new ward block.

“We all have a duty to do everything we can to limit the spread of Covid-19, which includes regular hand washing, wearing face coverings and social distancing wherever possible. We can also protect ourselves and loved ones this winter by getting a flu vaccination as soon as possible.”

Great Yarmouth is seeing more daily coronavirus cases compared with other areas of Norfolk, the figures reveal. There were 45.3 Covid-19 positive cases per 100,000 people in the last seven days up to September 26, compared to 21.1 in the previous week.

MORE: Norfolk split 50:50 over new coronavirus restrictions, EDP survey finds

The James Paget Hospital in Gorleston last recorded a coronavirus related death three months ago on June 28. It has recorded 117 Covid-19 linked deaths.

The hospital said the current number of inpatients who have tested positive for Covid-19 as of September 30 was two, that is the same number the hospital had on its wards at the end of August.

Coronavirus test swabs. Picture: PA ImagesCoronavirus test swabs. Picture: PA Images

A JPH spokesman said: “Nationally and locally we are preparing for both an influx of Covid cases and the wider demands that winter is likely to bring. We are continuing to issue updates to our staff on a regular basis to ensure arrangements are in place for what may come and if we need to make changes for infection control reasons or local prevalence of Covid-19, we will do so.

“We would ask everyone to follow the guidance, particularly around social distancing and wearing masks, in order that everything possible is done to reduce the likelihood of local transmission.”

NHS England said in total a further 44 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in hospital, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths reported in hospitals to 30,049.

The QEH in Kings Lynn. Picture: Ian BurtThe QEH in Kings Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

Patients were aged between 60 and 99 years old and all had known underlying health conditions.

The deaths were between September 18 and September 30. Five other deaths were reported with no positive Covid-19 test result.


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