CONFIRMED coronavirus cases in Solihull and the region have once again doubled in two days – as the nation wakes up to lockdown.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson last night banned public congregations with a largely ‘stay at home’ instruction, and ordered the shutdown of playgrounds, all but essential shops and other additional restrictions.
A shortage of testing continues to be a factor in masking the vastly higher figures expected for those infected.
But the latest official figures reveal that – as of yesterday (Monday March 23) – Coventry’s confirmed cases had risen to 19, from 9 two days previously. It includes the death of an 18-year-old at University Hospital in Walsgrave, Coventry.
Solihull cases jumped from four to eight in those two days, and Warwickshire saw a rise of 18 to 35, with a third death confirmed on Sunday.
The country’s latest death was at Warwick Hospital as opposed to George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton.
Birmingham confirmed cases rose in two days from 75 to 137 yesterday.
The Midlands region had 808 cases yesterday, up from 491 in two days, the latest UK regional breakdown also shows.
Government ministers admit the UK is still nowhere near having the desired 25,000 testing kits a day thought necessary to diagnose and deal with every coronavirus case to prevent further spread.
The government continues to source two types of test – one that diagnoses active infection, and an antibody test that shows past infection.
Last Monday, the UK’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance estimated the number of people infected in reality in the UK could be 35,000 to 50,000, with many people with the virus not even displaying symptoms.
Numbers were then expected to double around every five days.
Dramatic rises are expected in the coming two weeks as in other European countries, with lockdown measures expected to gradually see a slowing of the rate. Deaths in Italy – thought to be two weeks ahead of the UK – topped 6,000 yesterday.
Scientific modelling for the government estimates there could be tens of thousands of UK deaths from the Covid-19 disease, even with restrictive measures in place.
The government says: “As of 9am on 23 March 2020, a total of 83,945 people have been tested, of which 77,295 were confirmed negative and 6,650 were confirmed positive.
“As of 1pm on 23 March 2020, 335 patients in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) have died.”Thanks