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Coronavirus: Four patients die at hospital over Christmas

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Four more patients have died at Lynn's Queen Elizabeth Hospital after testing positive for coronavirus, new figures have confirmed today.

Newly published NHS England data shows that 198 people have now died at the Gayton Road site having been confirmed to have contracted the infection since the start of the pandemic.

The latest fatality was recorded on Wednesday, with one also recorded on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Monday, December 28.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn.
Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn.

The news follows warnings from senior hospital officials that they are under significant pressure because of the volume of Covid patients and other winter pressures.

Although work to vaccinate both staff and patients has now begun, the latest figures showed 157 patients were being treated for coronavirus at the QEH, well above the maximum numbers recorded at the peak of the first wave.

Deputy chief operating officer Sarah Jones said yesterday: “We have tried and tested measures in place to help us manage winter pressures and demand, but we are expecting a very busy bank holiday weekend and local people can help us by continuing to wash their hands regularly, following social distancing rules, and wearing a face mask.

“Our staff are working exceptionally hard to ensure patients receive safe, timely and compassionate care, and people can also continue to access a range of NHS services, including calling NHS 111 if you need urgent care, speaking to a GP for non-urgent or ongoing concerns, and using a local pharmacist for medication and advice.”

Meanwhile, government infection data shows case numbers in West Norfolk are still rising, but more slowly.

Figures for the seven days to Boxing Day showed 412 confirmed cases, up by 59 or 16.7 per cent, on the previous week. The weekly increase had been running at more than 50 per cent just a few days earlier.

The rolling infection rate is currently 272.2 per 100,000 people, slightly above the national average.

Case numbers are rising across the rest of Norfolk as well, though there was a slight fall in the neighbouring districts of South Holland and Fenland.

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