The number of coronavirus-related deaths in Stoke-on-Trent has finally started to fall.
New figures from the Office for National Statistics show that in the week ending May 15 13 people in the city died with confirmed or suspected Covid-19, down from 24 in the previous week.
This is further evidence that Stoke-on-Trent has now passed its coronavirus peak – albeit several weeks later than most other parts of the country.
The weekly death tolls in Newcastle and Moorlands also fell, to seven and three respectively, meaning 23 people died with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 across the whole of North Staffordshire, the lowest weekly total since the last week in March.
A total of 288 deaths involving coronavirus have now been recorded across the area. This figure includes 173 deaths in hospitals, 96 in care homes and 19 in other settings.
StokeonTrentLive reported last week how there had been a ‘clear downward trend’ in the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in the city, indicating that the local outbreak had peaked. This conclusion now appears to be supported by the latest deaths figures.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council leader Abi Brown welcomed the fall, but said residents still had to maintain social distancing to ensure the numbers continue to drop.
She said: “I’m really pleased to see these latest figures from the ONS, which support our own figures which show deaths in the city are now falling.
“While it is reassuring to see that we have now passed through the peak, this has happened later than in other parts of the country, so it is particularly important that people in Stoke-on-Trent carry on following the rules to reduce the risk of a second wave.”
Stoke-on-Trent is currently seeing fewer than nine new confirmed Covid-19 cases a day, down from more than 17 new cases a day at the start of the month.
But the decline in Stoke-on-Trent’s outbreak has coincided with the national easing of lockdown restrictions, and so public health officials in the city will have an anxious wait to see if the figures continue to trend downwards in the coming weeks.
The latest figures from the Department of Health and Social Care show that a total of 37,048 people in the UK have died after testing positive for Covid-19.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock, announcing the latest figures at the Downing Street briefing, said they showed that the country was winning the fight against Covid-19.
He said: “Today’s figures from the ONS show across the UK as a whole the lowest number of deaths from coronavirus for six weeks.
“This is a national endeavour, and whatever the headwinds, as a country we can’t let up on this. We’re past the peak, we’re flattening the curve, we’ve protected the NHS, the number of deaths is falling. We must keep our resolve.”
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