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‘Light at the end of the tunnel’ - Norfolk hospital sends home first ICU coronavirus survivor

PUBLISHED: 15:42 13 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:54 14 April 2020

Staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn using the PPE masks made by Fakenham Academy. Picture: Rebekah Smith

Staff at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn using the PPE masks made by Fakenham Academy. Picture: Rebekah Smith

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More than 50 patients who were diagnosed with coronavirus have been discharged from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King’s Lynn.

In a tweet posted on Monday morning the hospital said: “52 coronavirus survivors have been cared for at QEH and been well enough to leave hospital.

“We sent our first intensive care unit patient home today fit and well. Just proves there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

The 500-bed hospital later announced that a further coronavirus patient had been allowed home.

It was the first to treat a coronavirus patient in the county with three patients testing positive for the virus on March 15. It also saw the first death from COVID-19 when two male patients, one in their 60s and the other in his 70s, died on Tuesday, March 17 and Wednesday, March 18.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Seven more deaths in Norfolk hospitals

At the time of the deaths, 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.

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“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.”

But the positive news of coronavirus patients being able to return home comes as the county’s death toll breaches the 100-mark, with 11 more deaths recorded on Sunday, April 12.

Cleaner Leanne Manning in protective clothing at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn  Picture: QEHCleaner Leanne Manning in protective clothing at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn Picture: QEH

Among the 110 people in Norfolk to have died from the virus, 38 deaths have been recorded at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, 40 at the QEH and 32 at the James Paget University Hospital.

More than 10,000 coronavirus patients have died nationwide as of Sunday, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock saying it was a “sombre day” for the country.

He said: “The fact that over 10,000 people have now lost their lives to this invisible killer demonstrates just how serious this coronavirus is.”

READ MORE: Over 50 warnings issued by police for those breaking lockdown on Easter Sunday

The QEH continued to offer advice on how to stay safe and follow NHS guidelines through its social media channels.

the QEH has successfully treated more than 50 patients. Picture: Ian Burtthe QEH has successfully treated more than 50 patients. Picture: Ian Burt

The hospital has seen 500 cases of fresh fruit and vegetables, more than 1,000 cakes, 140 cases of coffee and 200 sacks of potatoes donated.

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