GPs issue social distancing warning as 1,000 coronavirus cases confirmed in Staffordshire



More than 1,000 coronavirus cases have now been confirmed in Staffordshire – as the local hospital death toll topped 100.

Latest Government figures have revealed the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the county now stands at 1,008. The Stoke-on-Trent figure has risen to 230.

It comes as the number of deaths at the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust – which takes in the Royal Stoke University Hospital and Stafford’s County Hospital – has now risen to 101.

The number of patients who have been discharged following treatment at the Royal Stoke after testing positive for Covid-19 has now reached 149.

Now doctors’ leaders are warning that the worst is still to hit North Staffordshire. It comes as death rates in care homes are considerably higher than at the same time last year.

Silverdale GP Doctor Paul Scott, chairman of the North Staffordshire Local Medical Committee, said: “The positive thing in North Staffordshire is the system overall is coping. There are enough beds and intensive care beds.

“But our bulge is supposed to start this coming weekend. Things are going to ramp up significantly this week.

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“We have this ongoing incredible weather enticing us to be outside. But, for North Staffordshire, these coming weeks are going to be the most important for social distancing. We can’t be complacent.

“We don’t want the system to be overwhelmed and put medical staff at extensive risk – and it is for all those people who are vulnerable.

“These figures sound big but compared to other areas and most of the country, we have not seen it yet.

“People are quite rightly supporting social distancing and isolation. They are also not presenting with the normal illnesses GPs would see.

“Most children show almost no symptoms of Covid-19. But if a child stays ill, parents should get advice and not just assume it is coronavirus.

“The death rate among children is going up. That is not from Covid-19, it is that other illnesses are having a worse impact than normal.

“Parents should use services as normal. Nationally, children have died from meningitis and appendicitis.”

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