Western Morning News

Covid deaths hit a grim milestone

More than 100,000 lives lost as PM pledges remembranc­e events

- WMN REPORTER wmnnewsdes­k@reachplc.com

BRITAIN reached a grim milestone in the coronaviru­s pandemic yesterday, with more than 100,000 deaths recorded since the crisis began.

In a sombre Downing Street press conference, Boris Johnson said he offered his “deepest condolence­s” to everyone who has lost a relative to coronaviru­s and vowed to ensure those who have died are remembered.

He went on: “To all those who grieve, we make this pledge: that when we come through this crisis we will come together as a nation to remember everyone we lost and to honour the selfless heroism of all those on the front line who gave their lives to save others.”

The news came as the Westcountr­y dramatical­ly stepped up its vaccinatio­n programme, with three new mass vaccinatio­n centres opening.

Devon and Cornwall recorded a further 14 hospital deaths, figures out yesterday showed, seven in Devon and seven in Cornwall.

It also emerged that the second full week of January was the worst for deaths registered in the Westcountr­y, with 66 deaths registered where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificat­e.

Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty warned that the death rate would remain high across Britain for the next couple of weeks, at least.

A TOTAL of 14 more people in Devon and Cornwall hospitals have died after a coronaviru­s diagnosis, according to the latest figures from NHS England.

Seven more people passed away in Devon hospitals after testing positive for Covid-19. Two deaths were recorded in Torbay Hospital on January 23 with one death at Exeter’s RD&E and one in North Devon Hospital both recorded on January 24.

Another three were recorded at Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital. It brings the total deaths at Derriford involving Covid-19 to 169 – and the city’s overall total to 172.

The total number of Covid-linked deaths reported at RD&E now stands at 221. A total of 87 patients have now died at the Torbay Hospital, and 72 Covid-19 fatalities have been recorded at the North Devon Hospital since the pandemic started.

Seven more people who tested positive for coronaviru­s have also died at hospitals in Cornwall, the latest figures show.

Two of the newly confirmed deaths occurred on January 22, three on January 23, one on January 24, and one on January 25, according to the latest NHS England data.

It brings the total number of confirmed reported coronaviru­s deaths at Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust to 128, and the county’s overall number of hospital deaths to 167.

One Covid patient who says staff on Royal Cornwall Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit saved his life has urged people to treat NHS workers with more respect. Rob Flack decided to speak up after reading about Covid deniers filming inside the hospital.

The 50-year-old from Ludgvan, near Penzance, said there needs to be more respect for the staff, who he called ‘superheroe­s who saved my life’.

He said: “It’s vitally important to get the message across about staff on ICU – the people on there work so hard to keep people alive.

“You’ve got people taking pictures of empty corridors at the hospital. The reason they’re empty is because they’re trying to keep people out of the hospital. I don’t understand these people. This virus is happening and it’s happening to anyone.

“I asked the doctors how they felt about seeing people not wearing masks; the anti-mask, anti-vaxers. They said they just have to bite their tongues. This is so, so wrong that these people are keeping people alive all day and then leave in the evening and see someone without a mask. If you can’t wear a mask, don’t go out.”

Rob was rushed to Treliske hospital after not realising quite how sick he was. He said: “I avoided it for so long, I did all the right things, but I caught it. I was trying to be a man and didn’t realise how bad I was getting. Basically I was trying to get through it at home thinking ‘I’ll get better, I’ll get better’ but after a few days, I just couldn’t cope. I think I took it too lightly to start off. My friend said he thought I was dead when he came and found me.” He was rushed to hospital on the advice of a friend and former consultant and survived.

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