Four more coronavirus deaths across Black Country, Birmingham and Staffordshire

Saturday’s announcement takes the Covid-19 death toll in the region’s hospitals to 2,538.

An additional 607 people have died in care homes across the Black Country, Birmingham and Staffordshire after contracting the virus.

The latest UK-wide death toll released by the Government, which includes deaths in and out of hospitals, increased by 148 to 44,798.

The daily number of coronavirus deaths at hospitals in the Black Country, Birmingham and Staffordshire as of July 11. Data: NHS England

The number of coronavirus deaths in English hospitals went up by 38 to 29,051.

Thirteen of the 38 newly-announced deaths were in the Midlands and four were in the Black Country, Birmingham and Staffordshire.

The cumulative number of coronavirus deaths at hospital trusts in the Black Country, Birmingham and Staffordshire as of July 11. Data: NHS England

One more death was confirmed at the Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, which runs Sandwell General and City hospitals, where 379 patients have died.

One death was also announced at the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Queen Elizabeth, Heartlands, Good Hope and Solihull hospitals, where the death toll now stands at 960.

One more death was also reported at the University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust, which runs County Hospital in Stafford and Royal Stoke University Hospital, where the total number of deaths is now 352.

And the 12th death at the Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust was also announced today. The trust runs physical and mental health and social care services across Staffordshire.

The daily hospital figures include Covid-19 patients whose deaths were confirmed in the previous 24 hours, not who died in that period.

Meanwhile scientists have cautiously welcomed Boris Johnson’s suggestion that face coverings may become mandatory in shops in England.

The Prime Minister said on Friday that he wanted to be “stricter” on insisting people wear coverings in confined spaces where they are meeting people they do not normally see.

Face coverings are currently compulsory on public transport and in hospitals in England, but are now mandatory in shops in Scotland.

The UK Government insisted early on in the pandemic that masks were not necessary for use by the general public when out and about.

But the PM signalled a shift in policy during an online question and answer session with the public on Friday afternoon.

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