Coronavirus ‘in retreat’ says health secretary as no new deaths in Norfolk hospitals

Health secretary Matt Hancock. Pic: Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA Wire

Health secretary Matt Hancock. Pic: Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Coronavirus is “in retreat”, health secretary Matthew Hancock has said, on a day when no new deaths of patients with COVID-19 were recorded in Norfolk’s hospitals.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King’s Lynn and the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) in Gorleston have seen no new deaths of patients over the past five days.

At yesterday’s coronavirus briefing, the health secretary said there had been no deaths in London hospitals, or in Scotland’s.

He said: “When you look across the board, it is clear that coronavirus is in retreat across the country. But we must be vigilant and we must be cautious, and we are taking a safety-first approach.

“It means that we can proceed with our plan of making some changes, for instance looking towards the proposals that have been made next week on the retail sector.”

In Norfolk hospitals, there have been only two coronavirus-related deaths in June – both at the JPUH. No-one has died at QEH since May 30, while the NNUH has not reported a new death of a COVID-19 patient since May 28.

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To date, 381 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported in Norfolk’s three main hospitals, of which 122 have been at NNUH, 145 at QEH, and 114 at JPUH.

NHS England announced on Monday a further 59 people had died in hospital after testing positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number in England to 27,490.

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The patients were aged between 34 and 100, with three aged between 54 and 68 known to have had underlying health conditions.

No deaths were reported in London hospitals for the second day in a row but NHS England said a “small number” of people had died and these would be included in figures in the next few days.

At the Downing Street coronavirus briefing, Mr Hancock announced an extension of the coronavirus testing regime in English care homes. He said all care homes, rather than just those for older people, would now be included in the plan.

Mr Hancock said the government was ready to take action in response to local outbreaks of the coronavirus, but scientific advice remained that the R number was still below one in every part of the country.

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