Death toll in region and care home outbreak alerts double in a week
Date published: 15 April 2020
Photo: herraez - stock.adobe.com
Hospital bed occupancy levels across Greater Manchester have remained relatively stable
The coronavirus death toll in Greater Manchester has doubled in the last week with care homes also reporting nearly 100 new outbreaks.
Mayor Andy Burnham expects hospitals to be put under further pressure after the number of confirmed cases rose from 2,263 to 3,817 since last Wednesday.
In a weekly briefing on the region’s response to COVID19 he said each of the 592 deaths – up from 279 – was a ‘tragedy’ for the families concerned.
But the most recent NHS England data, released after the meeting, puts the total number deaths at 644.
He added: “We send our sincere condolences to everybody who is grieving right now as a result of this virus.”
The mayor said a fall in hospital admissions from 52 per day to 41 a day painted an ‘encouraging picture’ for parts of the NHS.
But the number of patients in intensive care has risen from 176 to 226 within a week, with 1,047 patients in non-ICU beds – an increase from 888.
Meanwhile bed occupancy levels across Greater Manchester have remained relatively stable at ‘between ‘55 to 60 per cent’.
Mr Burnham said: “There is capacity in the system but as you can see there’s been an increase in cases, sadly an increase in deaths, and more pressure on our hospitals.
“It’s possible that this will grow over the coming days.”
The briefing also heard that the number of alerts made by care homes to Public Health England rose from 83 to 182. These alerts can concern one or more cases of COVID19.
Mr Burnham said the figures back up growing concerns that the social care sector is not being adequately supported by the government.
“It reflects the feeling that people have around the need for more testing in our care homes, more timely delivery of personal protective equipment (PPE) and just more spotlight on what is happening in our care homes,” he added.
“There’s a strong feeling that we don’t know the full story and we need more information, more focus on social care. We need a stronger action plan.”
Niall Griffiths, Local Democracy Reporter
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