Norfolk hospital suspends visiting as UK coronavirus death toll rises to 21
PUBLISHED: 14:58 14 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:24 15 March 2020
Coronavirus has seen visiting suspended at a Norfolk hospital as it takes measures to protect people from becoming “seriously ill”.
The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn said that from midday today (Saturday, March 14) it was stopping people from visiting patients.
Notices have been put up in the hospital stating 'Visiting is suspended across all wards/departments'.
A further explanation posted on wards states: 'The Queen Elizabeth Hospital NHS Trust is working hard to prevent the spread of Covid-19 ands to protect staff, patients and visitors from becoming seriously ill.
'With this in mind, we have taken the decision to suspend all visiting to our wards at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital'.
The only exceptions to the visiting ban that have been imposed are children's services, maternity and neonates.
The NHS Trust said it was aware the decision would be 'frustrating for the family and friends of patients' but that it was 'the safest precaution to take at this time'.
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Ten more patients have died in England after testing positive for Covid-19, bringing the coronavirus death toll to 21 in the UK.
And the Department for Health and Social Care confirmed 1,140 have now tested positive for the virus as of 9am on Saturday.
A number of the patients who died, who were over 60, had underlying health conditions, NHS England said.
The 10 patients were being cared for by nine trusts including Buckinghamshire, Sandwell & West Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Leicester, Barts, London, north Middlesex and Chester.
There have so far been no confirmed cases in Norfolk, but the latest figures for local authority areas are due to be released later on Saturday.
The UK is dealing with a rising number of cases of the illness and this announcement sees the death toll in the UK double.
On Friday, the number of positive cases was 798 - with 39 in the East of England - and there was a death toll of 11.
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Professor Chris Whitty, chief medical officer for England, said: 'I am sorry to confirm 10 further patients who have tested positive for Covid-19 in England have died.
'All 10 individuals were in the at risk groups. I understand this increase in the number of deaths linked to Covid-19 will be a cause for concern for many.
'The public should know every measure we are taking is seeking to save lives and protect the most vulnerable.
'Every single one of us has a role to play in achieving this. If you have a new continuous cough or high temperature, please stay at home for seven days.
'I also encourage everyone to be washing their hands for 20 seconds regularly.
'I offer my sincere condolences to the families and friends who have received this difficult news. I ask that their privacy is respected at this time.'
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