Midlands coronavirus death toll leaps but no new deaths at Shropshire hospitals
More new coronavirus deaths were confirmed in the Midlands than London as the UK death toll passed 4,000 on Saturday.
Of 637 more patients confirmed to have died in England 212 died in the Midlands, although no new deaths were confirmed at hospitals in Shropshire.
So far 22 people have died after testing positive for Covid-19 in Shropshire - far fewer than the figures seen at neighbouring health trusts in the Black Country and Birmingham where 470 people have now died.
In Saturday the death toll doubled at the health trust which runs the biggest hospital in the West Midlands - Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham - to 203, which is more than any other health trust in the country.
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Queen Elizabeth Hospital has a major trauma centre and treats patients from across the region with serious health conditions meaning its death toll is always likely to be higher than others in the Midlands.
The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust has had the fifth most deaths, with 92, with the trusts in second, third and fourth place all in London.
The Midlands' 212 deaths confirmed on Saturday was far more than London where 127 were confirmed.
Meanwhile 13 more deaths were confirmed in Wales where the death toll reached 154.
A total of 144 deaths were confirmed in the Black Country and Birmingham, including 15 in Walsall, 13 in Dudley, 11 in Wolverhampton and three in Sandwell and West Birmingham.
At the daily Government briefing Michael Gove said work to turn the NEC into a Nightingale Hospital was set to be accelerated due to how severe the crisis is in the Midlands.
Nine more deaths were confirmed in Staffordshire, bringing the total in the county to 41, and seven more deaths were confirmed in Worcestershire where the death toll now stands at 42.
Across the UK 708 more Covid-19 patients were confirmed to have died, including a five-year-old girl, as the national death toll hit 4,313.
Meanwhile Department of Health figures showed that the number of new people tested daily in the UK has slipped back below 10,000. A total of 9,406 new people were reported as being tested in the 24 hours to 9am April 4.
For the previous two days, the equivalent figure was above 10,000. The total number of people in the UK tested since the outbreak began is now 183,190. The number of confirmed cases had reached 41,903 as of 9am on Saturday.
It came as Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London, warned the coronavirus infection rate will remain high for “weeks and weeks” if people flout social distancing rules this weekend.
Prof Ferguson said earlier that while the epidemic was expected to plateau in the next week to 10 days, people’s behaviour was critical to determining what happens next.
Elsewhere, a private drive-through coronavirus test centre has been set up at a clinic in Shrewsbury where tests can be purchased for £249.
An assessment - but not test - centre is also now in place at the car park at Shrewsbury Town's ground.