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Three patients die of coronavirus at Homerton Hospital as confirmed cases in City and Hackney rise to 72

PUBLISHED: 20:07 24 March 2020 | UPDATED: 20:12 24 March 2020

A pod has been set up near the main entrance to Homerton Hospital  where patients should go if they believe they are at risk. Picture: Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

A pod has been set up near the main entrance to Homerton Hospital where patients should go if they believe they are at risk. Picture: Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Three patients have died at Homerton Hospital so far of coronavirus.

A spokesperson for the hospital said staff have been working flat out for the past week on treating Covid-19 patients, who have mostly been older patients with underlying health conditions.

Some 72 people in Hackney and City of London had tested positive for the virus as of 9am yesterday morning - however the number of people infected could be much higher, as the government is only allowing people in hospital to be tested.

Furthermore, a study published by Imperial College London has shown that 80 per cent of coronavirus cases are being passed on by people with no symptoms, which explains its rapid geographic spread.

Today there have been 1,427 new confirmed cases in the UK, which represents new high in the increase of those infected, and brings the total of confirmed cases to 8,070. 
A further 87 people have died overnight, bringing the death toll in the UK to 422.

Homerton’s intensive care bed capacity has been increased - although it is not clear by how many - and its refurbished wards, which have glass partitions for isolating bed bays, have been designated for care of coronavirus patients.

The hospital building has now been locked down with strict restrictions on protocols for visitors, who can only enter by the main front and rear entrance.

Each patient is only allowed one visitor who must be 18 and over.

A spokesperson said: “The restrictions are being constantly reviewed and may be tightened further.

“Some people have abused nurses over visitor restrictions which we will to not tolerate, however the vast majority of local people and businesses have been fantastic in their support, offering to volunteer or giving donations, gifts and hampers.”

The hospital is offering support to staff, who have been told to “notice and act on their own needs”, and advised to stop and take a break or rest, to have a good night’s sleep, to eat regular meals, and to share their thoughts and experiences with colleagues.

They are also being asked to encourage their colleagues to do the same, and take the time to check in with them and speak to their managers if they have any concerns about anyone.

The disease has infected more than 218,000 people and killed 8,800 in over 100 countries.

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