DEATHS from coronavirus and confirmed cases have risen sharply in the Solihull region – as a new hospital opened at the NEC.
The actual number of people to have contracted the Covid-19 virus is expected to be many times higher – with ongoing testing shortages, and mild cases involving little or no symptoms.
But, as of Tuesday (April 14), confirmed cases in the Midlands had risen to 11,987 (up from 7806 the previous Tuesday), with 399 in Coventry (up from 277) and 649 in Warwickshire (up from 400).
There were 358 in Solihull borough (up from 241) and 1884 in Birmingham (up from 1372).
Across the UK, there had been 93,873 confirmed cases, with 12,107 deaths.
The figures for hospital deaths do not include people who have passed away in the community, including care homes.
As of Tuesday, 112 deaths had been recorded at University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, with 46 at South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (including Warwick Hospital), and 39 at George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton.
University Hospitals Birmingham (which includes Solihull and Heartlands hospitals) had recorded 460 deaths.
The new NHS Nightingale Hospital at the NEC welcomed its first patients on Good Friday last week, ahead of schedule.
The opening of the huge facility for patients in the West Midlands region came just two weeks after it was announced. It follows the first such hospital at the Excel Centre in London’s Docklands.
The latest figures reveal ongoing steep rises of both confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths in the West Midlands, as with the country.
Government ministers and NHS officials see the region as the worst coronavirus hotspot outside London.
Work is underway to try to understand the particular reasons for the region’s spread of the virus.
West Midlands region mayor Andy Street has said hospitals are prepared for the peak of the Covid-19 crisis.
Nationally, daily death tolls in recent days have been relatively constant at over 700 cases rather than rising exponentially – resulting in ‘flattening the curve’ on a graph.
Ministers and their scientific advisers believe it suggests their ‘stay at home’, ‘lockdown’ and social distancing emergency measures are working.
But ministers say it is unclear when there could be a relaxation of the ‘lockdown’ restrictions, as seen in other countries including badly-affected Spain.