Shropshire Star

Coronavirus: Four more deaths confirmed in Shropshire as UK death toll nears 5,000

Four more coronavirus patients have been confirmed to have died in Shropshire, bringing the county's death toll to 26.

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The deaths were confirmed on Sunday as the UK death toll increased by 621 to 4,934.

Two of the patients died on Thursday and two died on Friday and all were being treated by The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust. The trust is no longer confirming whether the patients died in Shrewsbury or Telford.

So far 25 patients have died in Shropshire hospitals after testing positive for Covid-19 while one person has died at a retirement complex in Shrewsbury.

Twenty two of the deaths happened between March 26 and April 3 while the first patient in the county died on March 15.

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In England 555 deaths were confirmed on Sunday with the youngest patient aged 33 and the oldest of 103. Twenty nine of these patients had no underlying health conditions and were aged between 35 and 95.

The death toll in Wales increased by 12 to 166.

The new death figures were confirmed as Health Secretary Matt Hancock said outdoor exercise could be banned if people flout the social distancing rules.

Mr Hancock said sunbathing in public spaces was against the Government guidance and told those who dared to disobey that they are putting their own and others’ lives at risk.

Meanwhile a Shropshire pub has denied hosting a lock-in and apologised after police said they shut down a gathering there last night.

As temperatures rose across the country, some parks closed because too many people had ignored the advice to stay at home.

Mr Hancock told the BBC: “We’ve said it’s OK to go for exercise because both the physical and mental health benefits of getting some exercise are really important.

“I don’t want to have to take away exercise as a reason to leave home… if too many people are not following the rules.

“At the moment the vast majority of people are (following the guidance) but people should not break the rules because that will mean that the virus spreads more and then we might have to take further action.”

He also confirmed that Boris Johnson continues to have a high temperature but is “OK” and in “good spirits” as he remains in self-isolation in Downing Street.

His warning came ahead of the Queen’s address to the nation, in which she will urge the country to prove that this generation is “as strong as any”.

In a televised message to be broadcast on Sunday evening, the head of state will recognise the pain felt by many families living through this “time of disruption”.

She will personally thank frontline NHS staff, care workers and others carrying out essential roles for their efforts, in what is expected to be a deeply personal message reflecting her experience in other difficult times.