THE deaths of a young man and a 102-year-old woman with Covid-19 prompted a fresh appeal for residents of all ages to do all they can to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
Former Priestlands School pupil Elliott Dickie, who was in his early 20s, succumbed to Covid-19 in hospital on 10th January.
There is no suggestion he did not adhere to pandemic regulations or advice, and people who knew him said it was a huge shock.
Mr Dickie had previously worked for Redmayne Engineering, based in Lymington, and it is understood he latterly resided in Pennington.
His death prompted condolences from Lymington and Pennington Town Council, and a fresh appeal for people to take care.
A spokesperson said: “It’s always sad when a young person loses their life, and we send our condolences to the family of Elliott Dickie and all families who have lost a loved one during this pandemic.
“It reminds us of the very great threat posed to all members of our community by the Covid-19 virus and the new variant, which is transmitting more easily across all age groups.
“At this time we would remind all members of our local community as to the importance of adhering to government legislation to protect lives.”
Mr Dickie’s family did not wish to comment and asked for privacy.
Another local victim was 102-year-old Dorothy Giltrap, who had lived at Engleburn care home in New Milton. She helped the RAF build gun parts for Spitfires, which is where she met her late husband Ted.
Dot, as she was known, leaves behind sons Jim and Geoff, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her relatives said: “She will be fondly remembered by family and friends in the Christchurch area.”
The two deaths emerged as 13 fatalities in the New Forest district were reported on Tuesday in the latest weekly update by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – up from nine the week before.
It is the highest number locally for several months. Ten were recorded in hospital and two in care homes.
However, the number of weekly new cases reported by the government over the seven days to Tuesday showed the infection rate slowing slightly – down to 628 from 754 last week, following a series of rises.
It put the New Forest’s rate per 100,000 people at 348.7 – a reduction from 418.7 previously. The average in England was 506.5.
In the BCP Council area, which includes Christchurch, there were 30 weekly deaths reported by the ONS, of which 18 were in hospital and 11 in care homes.
The provisional figures from the ONS related to instances where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate up to 8th January but which were registered up to 16th January.
On Tuesday the number of new weekly Covid-19 cases across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole came to 3,320 – just below last week’s total of 3,348. It puts the rate per 100,000 people at 839.8, which is well above the average in England.
By comparison, the highest UK rate on Tuesday was 1,231.6 in Knowsley in Liverpool.
The infection figures are for the numbers of people with at least one lab-confirmed positive Covid-19 test result in the preceding seven-day period.
A temporary Covid-19 mortuary has opened in Basingstoke to support the four major NHS hospital mortuaries in Hampshire and local funeral directors.
Hampshire County Council chief executive John Coughlan said: “While our hospitals and funeral sector are currently coping, we are regrettably seeing significant pressures within the system.”