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New Forest coronavirus deaths pass 100

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This week's total is up 17 from last week
This week's total is up 17 from last week

MORE than 100 people have now died from Covid-19 in the New Forest, according to the latest official figures.

Care homes have become the biggest location for deaths in the district, reaching a total of 51 between the beginning of the year and 8th May. There were 47 fatalities in hospital.

The overall cumulative death toll is 103 locally – up by 17 from the figure of 86 released last week, when the weekly rise was 14. The previous increase in weekly deaths was much higher, standing at 46.

In the BCP Council area, which covers Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole, the total number of Covid-19 deaths over the same period reached 161. Of those, 79 were in hospital and 74 in care homes.

The weekly local figures were released on Tuesday by the Office for National Statistics and covered deaths up to 8th May which were registered up to Saturday. They include numbers from the Care Quality Commission, which oversees care homes.

The national figure for England and Wales on Tuesday stood at a total of 37,375 deaths registered as involving Covid-19.

New Forest East MP Julian Lewis responded: “It is too early to draw firm conclusions, which will have to await the full inquiries when the crisis ends.

“Tentatively, we might attribute the local figures to the relatively high average age in our area and to the initial focus nationwide on making sure that the hospitals were not overwhelmed – but that can only be speculation at this stage.”

Figures compiled from the ONS data by care workers union Unison showed there had been 1,800 care home deaths from Covid-19 in the south east. That includes Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, where there were 378 care home deaths out of a total of 1,033.

Regional Unison secretary Steve Torrance said: “This is a shocking price being paid by elderly and vulnerable people whose families believed they were being kept safe, and frankly heroic care staff who are being let down by a failing system.

“These deaths show the government’s failure to support those in society who are most in need of care.”

He added: “The Covid-19 crisis has exposed a social care system that’s simply unfit for purpose. A complete overhaul is needed once the pandemic passes to ensure no one is left unprotected again.”

As reported, Lymington hospital health director Rachel Anderson told the A&T last week that the district was past the first peak but warned preparations were being made for a possible second or third surge in cases.

The deaths reported by ONS include those not within the Public Health England (PHE) definition, because they had no positive test result confirmed by a PHE or NHS laboratory.

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