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New Forest coronavirus weekly death rate slows to single figures

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The total number of Covid-19 deaths this year stands at 122
The total number of Covid-19 deaths this year stands at 122

THE Covid-19 death rate has slowed to single figures in the New Forest as a further six people were reported to have died in the latest weekly update.

The total number of deaths in the district since the start of the year rose from 116 to 122, according to an Office for National Statistics update on Tuesday.

Just over half of the new figure was from fatalities in care homes, which reached 62. Hospital deaths were 55. Deaths at home, hospices and elsewhere came to five.

Last week’s increase in the New Forest’s overall death toll was 13, and the week before it was 17.

In the BCP Council area, which includes Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole, the overall number of deaths since the start of the year went up by just three over the week to 168.

Deaths in hospital came to 81, care homes 79, and at home seven. There has been one death in a hospice.

The sets of figures are for deaths which occurred up to 22nd May but were registered up to 30th May.

The numbers prompted Christchurch MP Sir Chris Chope to pose a written question to the health secretary asking how many hospital patients in England who were discharged to nursing and care homes in March and April subsequently died from Covid-19.

Health minister Helen Whately said an answer would be provided “as soon as it is available”.

In Hampshire – where there are around 13,500 beds across almost 500 care homes – the county council is distributing its £18.4m share of a £600m national fund for privately-run care homes.

The cash will be handed out based on the numbers of beds in each facility, plus further sums for those worst-hit by the virus.

Cllr Liz Fairhurst, HCC cabinet member for adult social care and health, said: “We have been in regular communication with the county’s care homes throughout the pandemic and have worked hard to provide as much support as possible, but there is no doubt that the challenges wrought by responding to the virus, have stretched even the most resilient of care providers.

“We therefore welcome this additional financial support from Government, but this does not mask the ever more pressing need for a sustainable, long-term funding solution for our sector.”

The remaining 10% of the funding will be used for emergency personal protective equipment supplies, and other emergency support.

* A previous version of the story put the death rise at eight. This has now been amended to six

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