Coronavirus patient dies at Russells Hall Hospital

A patient who was being treated for the coronavirus at Russells Hall Hospital has died, the NHS has confirmed.

The patient was in their 70s and had underlying health issues, according to the NHS trust which runs the hospital, while Dudley North MP Marco Longhi confirmed the patient was male.

In a statement, Diane Wake, Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust chief executive, said: "The Trust can confirm that a patient in their 70s being treated for underlying health conditions has died.

"The patient had tested positive for Covid-19. The family has been informed and our condolences and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.

"We will not be commenting further and ask that everybody respects the family's privacy."

It comes 24 hours after Russells Hall confirmed the Dudley borough's first case of Covid-19.

Mr. Longhi said, "I am extremely sorry to hear of the passing of an elderly gentleman, with underlying medical conditions, who had contracted the Covid-19 and I would like to offer my sincere condolences to his family and friends.

"May I take this opportunity to press the importance for everyone to follow Government guidelines, including washing their hands frequently for at least 20 seconds. In addition, if anyone feels flu like symptoms, they should follow Government advice which is to stay at home and call 111.

"The Government will continue to take the advice from the Chief Medical Officer and senior clinicians. I want to reassure residents that the NHS is well prepared to deal with incidents like this, and I am assured that the Government has a clear path to ensure the public is protected."

Earlier today (Wednesday), High Oak Surgery in Pensnett, announced it was closing its doors until further notice after a "possible contact case of coronavirus".

Yesterday (Tuesday), Wolverhampton's first death from Covid-19 was confirmed. The city has today opened the UK's first 'drive-thru' testing site for the virus, which is based in a council-owned car park, and allows people with referrals from the NHS 111 service to be swabbed for the virus.

Health officials in Dudley are now moving to calm the public’s fears.

Deborah Harkins, Director of Public Health for Dudley, added: "I’d like to reassure people that the risk to the general public remains low and Dudley Council is working with NHS colleagues to do everything we can to stop the virus spreading and ensure the people of Dudley are protected.

"If you have not been contacted by Public Health England as a close contact of the confirmed case, you do not need to take any action at this time.

"Good hygiene is the best prevention and there are some simple steps you can take to protect you and your family by washing your hands regularly and thoroughly and if you cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue.

"If you have recently been to one of the affected countries or regions or you have been in contact with a confirmed case and are feeling unwell you should use the NHS 111 online service or phone the NHS 111 helpline for further advice straight away.

"It is really important that you don’t go to your doctor or a hospital to be tested, to protect others. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and others online at"

Dr Sue Ibbotson, Centre Director, Public Health England West Midlands, said: "Public Health England is contacting people who had close contact with one of the latest confirmed cases of Covid-19. The case is a resident of Dudley.

"Close contacts will be given health advice about symptoms and emergency contact details to use if they become unwell in the 14 days after contact with the confirmed case.

"This tried and tested method will ensure we are able to minimise any risk to them and the wider public."

Meanwhile, the NHS has reiterated to the public to be wary of fake news online giving speculative, unconfirmed or entirely false information about coronavirus and ensure they only get information from trusted media, NHS, council, government and Public Health websites.

It comes after Twitter suspended a fake account which was posing as Andover War Memorial Hospital in Hampshire on the social media platform. The account warned people in the Andover area to "move into lockdown" after it falsely claimed the hospital had had an "influx of patients" with coronavirus.


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