Hospital bosses braced for coronavirus cases peak in third week of April

PUBLISHED: 20:35 27 March 2020 | UPDATED: 20:22 28 March 2020

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Picture: Ian Burt

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Bosses at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn have confirmed they have now had 22 confirmed coronavirus cases - and are expecting peak demand to come between April 11 and 17.

The hospital’s chief executive Caroline Shaw praised staff at the hospital for “going above and beyond” to ensure the safety of patients, in a letter she shared.

She said: “We have robust plans to deal with Covid-19 - and this includes planning for our bed, people and equipment requirements.

“We know the coming weeks are going to be tougher still. We now have 22 confirmed cases at the QEH. Based on all the work we have done, all things are pointing to the peak in demand on our beds and critical care capacity being somewhere between April 11 - 17.”

Two people with coronavirus, who were suffering from underlying health conditions, have died at the 500-bed hospital, the first such fatalities in Norfolk.

Caroline Shaw, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital chief executive. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYCaroline Shaw, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital chief executive. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Ms Shaw said she been “extremely proud” of how staff had handled the situation so far and that she understood how anxious and worried people were about the months ahead.

But she said: “Midst all of this uncertainty, what I do know is that Team QEH will come out of this stronger than ever before.”

The latest figures from Public Health England on Friday saw the county’s cases increase from 51 to 70.

The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital confirmed two more patients have died after testing positive for the coronavirus in Norwich - taking the number of deaths in the county due to Covid-19 to five.

A man in his 50s, with underlying health conditions, died at the NNUH earlier this week.

The hospital is dealing with 30 cases, including a baby.

The number of deaths in the UK has risen to 759.

The Department of Health said that in the UK a further 2,921 cases have been confirmed in the last 24 hours.

As of 9am on Friday 14,579 people have tested positive for the virus, with nearly 100,000 people testing negative. To date 113,777 tests have been carried out.

Prime minister Boris Johnson, health secretary Matt Hancock and the chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty have all confirmed they have shown symptoms of the virus and are in isolation.

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