Devon and Cornwall have now recorded more than 900 Covid-related deaths in their hospitals.
The latest figures from NHS England, published today, show that 12 more patients in the region, who have had coronavirus, have died.
Of these, two were at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, two at The Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust had six and the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust had two.
This means that 904 people who tested positive for Covid-19 have now died in area hospitals as a result of the pandemic.
However, it was also reported today that Covid – related deaths across Devon and Cornwall have fallen by 25 per cent and to their lowest level since the start of 2021.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) covering the week of February 6 to 12, but recorded up to February 20, show that 75 of the 347 deaths recorded in the two counties reported Covid-19 on the death certificate.
Deaths in Devon have fallen nearly 40 percent week-on-week, but Cornwall has increased its numbers slightly.
The 75 deaths are the lowest number for five weeks, but it remains the eighth highest total since the outbreak began.
Of the 75 deaths recorded in week 6 (February 6-12), 40 died from Cornwall, nine in Plymouth, seven in Torbay and Teignbridge, four in East Devon, three in Exeter. and Mid Devon, one in Torridge and West Devon.
No deaths were reported in the Isles of Scilly, North Devon, or the South Hams.
In total, 33 of the deaths occurred in care homes, 39 in hospitals and three at home.
A further 10 deaths from week five (January 30-February 5) were added to the figures this week (five in Cornwall, three in Plymouth, one in Torbay and East Devon), with one death from a week four (January 23-29 in Plymouth) as well.
Previous weeks saw 100, 146, 150, 78, 55, 32, 46, 48, 52, 43, 43, 37, 24, 11, 13, 15, 6, 5, 2, 0, 3, 1, 2, 0, 1, 2, 1, 0, 1, 1, 2, 2, 5, 1, 7, 10, 11, 15, 38, 44, 70, 85, 107, 90, 60, 16 and nine deaths recorded.
In total, 1,605 deaths from coronavirus were recorded across Devon and Cornwall.
The latest figures from the Government have also shown that the Cornwall Council area is not the place with the lowest coronavirus case rate in England over the last seven days.
During this period – the week to February 18 – 227 positive cases were recorded in the county, giving a case rate of 39.7 per 100,000 people.
This means that Cornwall has fallen to the third lowest in England, under Devon (315 cases at 39.3) and the London Islington area (94 cases at 38.8).
Across England, 43 areas are suffering from infectious disease rates.
Corby in Northamptonshire has the highest rate in England, with 238 new cases registered in the seven days to 18 February – equivalent to 329.6 cases per 100,000 people.
This is down slightly from 347.6 cases per 100,000 people in the seven days to 11 February.
Middlesbrough has the second highest rate, down from 316.4 to 285.1, with 402 new cases.
Peterborough is in third place, down slightly from 276.9 to 270.0, with 546 new cases.
Of the 43 areas that have recorded a week-long increase, the top five are:
- Rutland (up from 182.8 to 237.9)
- Craven (43.8 to 80.5)
- Brentwood (83.1 to 118.1)
- Tamworth (203.4 to 236.0)
- Malvern Mountains (104.2 to 136.0)
This comes after Boris Johnson unveiled the Government’s plan to lock down and the restrictions associated with coronavirus pandemic.
The Prime Minister described the House of Commons as a “one-way street to freedom”. The following dates are subject to change in the future:
- March 8 at the earliest: Schools reopen. One to one meetings with others outside. Residents of a care home dropped one regular visitor.
- March 29 at the earliest: Outdoor gatherings of six or two families, including in private gardens. Outdoor sports facilities for sports can be reopened and ‘formally organized’ can be kept outdoors. A “Stay at home” message was issued at that time but people were encouraged to stay locally.
- April 12 at the earliest: Non-essential shops reopen alongside public buildings. Personal care accommodation as well. Pubs and restaurants reopen but outdoor service just under the rule of six or two families. Self-contained accommodation can reopen but only for household use. Funerals can be up to 30 people and wedding receptions 15.
- May 17 at the earliest: A rule of six and two families rules out for “leaving” at that stage, but gatherings of more than 30 are still banned. Indoor mixes – including pubs and restaurants – are only allowed within the six / two home rule. Fans may attend events at sports venues, but capacity will be limited by venue type. Up to 30 people allowed at weddings and other life events. International travel may resume.
- June 21 at the earliest: A date set in the hope of removing “legal limits on social communication”. Final closed areas for reopening – such as nightclubs. Also hope to remove boundaries on weddings etc as well.
Mr Johnson today confirmed that he has asked Michael Gove to lead a review of the use of a vaccine passport.
Speaking at a school in south London, the Prime Minister told reporters: “This is an area where we are looking at something new for our country, we didn’t have stuff like this before, we didn’t never think about having something you have to show for going to a pub or theater.
“There are deep and complex issues that we need to examine, and ethical issues as to what the role of Government is in ordering or for people to have such a thing or indeed in prohibiting people from doing so.
“We can’t discriminate against people who can’t get the vaccine for any reason, there may be medical reasons why people can’t get the vaccine.
“Or some people usually refuse to have a vaccine, I think that’s wrong, I think everyone should have a vaccine but we have to destroy this .
“In the meantime (when the vaccines are introduced) all I want to see is a proper review of the issue. That is to be led by Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, who gets the best science.moral, philosophical, ethical views on it and will work a way forward.
“The libertarians refused strongly but others will think there is a case for it.”
Mr Johnson said he was “very optimistic” that he will be able to reduce all restrictions by the June 21 deadline set on his roadmap.
But representatives from the hospitality industry Devon and Cornwall said the plan was a “further blow” that pubs and restaurants would have to remain closed for months.
Labor MP for Exeter Ben Bradshaw said he agreed with the Government “that we should be guided by the data and not deadlines” and welcomed the headline move. days currently marked in the roadmap if data indicate that they need to be pushed forward or backward.
“Given the overwhelming evidence on the impact of vaccines in preventing serious illness and death, the Government should be prepared to push these dates forward, as well as backwards, if the data is justify that, “he said.
“It is particularly difficult for local businesses, especially our vital hospitality sector, to be closed for Easter, as Exeter and Devon have one of the lowest Covid standards in the country.”
Patrick Langmaid, director of the Mother Ivey Bay holiday park at Trevose Head, said that although it was able to reopen on April 12, pubs operate at a lower capacity “better off closed and being ‘get support’ so they can fully open.
“[The plan] ok if you do what I do, “he said.
“Self-catering accommodation can reopen on April 12. But that doesn’t mean it’s good news. A lot of people are going to be sad. The devil will be so detailed.
“I am concerned about the hospitality of Cornwall as a whole. Pubs and restaurants need support. I am worried for pubs that want to open at a smaller capacity. They are best off being closed and supported so they can fully open. “
Mr Langmaid said his customers are “not going to get the Cornish experience they expected” as most of the hospitality sector will remain closed.
“We had already decided that we would open at a smaller capacity, 170 fields are not going to be open. That’s 800 people,” he said.
“The public is going to want social distance for the rest of the season. We are all emotionally separated by the lock and what it means to protect ourselves and our loved ones. “
Tim Jones, chairman of the South West Business Council, said the Government should look at creating an extra bank holiday, but it also needs to make sure the fourth lockout never happens.
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