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Coronavirus: Two confirmed to have died at Norfolk hospital

PUBLISHED: 16:00 20 March 2020 | UPDATED: 09:33 21 March 2020

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn has stopped visitors to their hospital with a few exceptions. Picture: QEH

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn has stopped visitors to their hospital with a few exceptions. Picture: QEH

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Two patients infected with coronavirus have died at a Norfolk hospital.

Their deaths bring the nationwide death toll from the disease to 167.

A spokesman at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn said: “Sadly, we can confirm that two patients who were being cared for and had tested positive for COVID-19, have died.

“Two male patients, one in their 60s and the other in his 70s, died on Tuesday, March 17 and Wednesday, March 18.

“Both were very unwell and had significant underlying health conditions. The patients are not related or connected to each other.

MORE - QEH chief nurse pledges: ‘We’ll do our best to fight virus’

“Our thoughts and condolences are with both families during what is undoubtedly a difficult and distressing time.”

The men were among five patients who had tested positive for coronavirus at the 500-bed hospital, who were being treated on a special isolation ward.

Dr Louise Smith, Norfolk County Council’s director of public health, said: “This is very sad news and our thoughts are with the families and their right to grieve in privacy at this difficult time.

“The sad truth is that this was not unexpected. This sobering milestone must be a reminder to all of us to take all the steps we can to protect the most vulnerable, in our families and in our communities.

“Avoid close contact with others, continue to regularly wash your hands, stay up to date with the latest government advice, and above all remember that the elderly and those with underlying health issues are most at risk, and do what you can to minimise the danger to them.”

A statement from NHS England said: “A further 39 people, who tested positive for coronavirus have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in England to 167.

“Patients were aged between 50 and 99 years old and had underlying health conditions. Their families have been informed.”

The news comes two days after Libby McManus, chief nurse at the hospital, said coronavirus was the biggest challenge to have faced the NHS during her 35-year career.

“The reassuring thing I want to say to the community is that we’re working hard, we’ve got plans, we’re refining them every day,” she said.

“There will be a peak with this illness when it becomes very difficult for us to manage but we’re going to do our best to keep patients safe and our staff safe as well.”

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