Covid-19 hotspot update: Bedworth hits new milestone misery

  Posted: 24.06.20 at 09:19 by Nick Hudson

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BEDWORTH may have moved off the top spot of the leader board of ‘worst’ virus hotspots in the country but it scaled a new Covid-19 peak today.

Latest figures for confirmed cases of the deadly virus saw the borough hit the 500 mark.

And the town and neighbouring Nuneaton remain in the danger zone of high-end incidences in terms of percentage of its population as health leaders are calling for an urgent review to ensure the UK is properly prepared as “available evidence indicates that local flare ups are increasingly likely and a second wave a real risk”.

In an open letter to the leaders of all the UK political parties published in the British Medical Journal, the Royal Colleges of Physicians, Surgeons, GPs and Nursing – as well as the chairman of the British Medical Association – want a "rapid and forward-looking assessment" of the state of national preparedness in the event of a renewed flare-up.

The borough continues to register cases at the highest rate per 100,000 population of any of its neighbouring authorities including Birmingham and Coventry – at 387.9, topping that recorded in the West Midlands, London and England.

The latest news comes as after Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday the end of most lockdown measures in England.

The Prime Minister said the two-metre social-distancing rule would be replaced with a "one-metre plus" rule paving the way for pubs, restaurants, hotels and cinemas to begin reopening from July 4.

Townsfolk will be able to visit community centres, libraries, go to the hairdressers and attend places of worship after being given the go ahead for a mass reopening of businesses on what is being dubbed Super Saturday.

Mr Johnson said the "national hibernation" – imposed on March 23 – is beginning to end, and "life is returning to our streets".

Bedworth and Nuneaton has handed over the number one position to Rochdale and Stoke on Trent is second in a study which is the largest community monitoring of the virus on the planet as local hospital bosses continue their review of an in-house transmission of the deadly infection.

George Eliot Hospital is in the middle of three-way investigation – headed by Public Health England – to establish what is behind an upsurge in cases which Warwickshire public health director Shade Agboola says is now “levelling off”.

The “significant number” of patients testing positive in the hospital’s care over the last week brought the county’s top official to make a video message address to allay “particular anxieties” after seven deaths were announced in a five-day period at the Eliot.

She went on record to assure the communities of Bedworth and Nuneaton that the “small” flare-up incidents of infection increases “are to be expected as this is the phase of the pandemic we are in”.

The Eliot has brought in an action plan which includes the temporarily closing and deep cleaning of 25 beds; strict separation of Covid and non-Covid services; continued screening of all patients attending our emergency department; as well as testing all inpatients regularly, regardless of symptoms – with a rallying message that “services remain open and operational”.

The borough of Bedworth and Nuneaton recorded exactly 100 confirmed cases between May 13 and June 13, and in the last two weeks the number testing positive was greater in both seven-day periods than the previous two.

Other statistics available come from Kings College which has data from four million participants of the Covid Symptom Study app – the largest community monitoring of the virus in the world.

Figures show 134,260 people are currently predicted to be symptomatic across the country – a figure that is falling daily.
Bedworth and Nuneaton have a predicted figure of 1,044 symptomatic cases today at a rate of 0.8 per cent of the population – which is now third in the England table with Rochdale (1,549 predicted cases at 1.1 per cent) and Stoke on Trent (1580 at 1.1 per cent) leading the ‘hotspot’ league.

Other local comparisons come Birmingham’s figure at 8,016 symptomatic cases at 0.6 per cent, Coventry 2,743 at 0.6 per cent and North Warwickshire borough’s total of 761 at a low 0.2 per cent.

A total of 51 people have died from Covid-19 across Bedworth and district between March and May of this year, according to new figures.

Earlier this month Nub News revealed latest official data where the virus was listed as the cause of death has been released by the Office for National Statistics.

As of yesterday Bedworth and Nuneaton have now reported 500 Covid-19 cases at the highest rate per 100,000 population of any of its neighbouring Midland authorities including Birmingham and Coventry.

Its rate is 387.9 per 100,000 compared with North Warwickshire’s 217 cases at 334.6 per 100,000, Solihull’s 680 cases at 316.4 per 100,000, Birmingham’s 3,339 cases testing positive at 292.5 per 100,000 and Coventry’s 838 cases at 228.5 per 100,000.

Warwickshire’s total of confirmed cases stands at 1,592 with a rate per 100,000 of 278.8

The UK total is now 306,210 cases with an additional 874 reported in the last 24 hours.

The grim death toll stands at 42,927 – 117 of those have lost their lives in the Bedworth and Nuneaton borough up to May 22.

The 24-hour total death total went back into three figures after two double-digit rises over the weekend – increasing by 171 people across the UK.

But the real total of coronavirus-related deaths is at least 53,077, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The UK’s is now third in the world deaths table – with Brazil moving into second place on 50,737 – having gone through the million case barrier with 1,090,349 people testing positive.

On Monday the World Health Organisation recorded the highest one-day increase in total cases, with 183,000 added in 24 hours.

Countries are recording thousands of new cases daily – more than 10,000 in the US in the last 24 hours bringing its total to 2,367,259. America’s death toll stands at 122,374.

India recorded 8,650 new cases from the previous day, Russia 7,600, Mexico 5,343, Chile 4,609 and Saudi Arabia 3,393.

World confirmed cases stand at 9,113,082 – and the death tally is 471,849.

More than half of those who have tested positive have now recovered (4,884,374).

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A message from the Editor, Nick Hudson

Hi, I'm Nick Hudson, the Editor of Bedworth Nub News.

I began my local news career almost half a century ago by covering the three towns of Bedworth, Nuneaton & Atherstone for the old Observer. My first job was to collect the immaculately-typed copy of the 'Queen of Memories' Mary Ashmore from her Longford home.

I reported from the sidelines as the forward-thinking Bedworth Urban District Council was joined at the hip with neighbouring Nuneaton and worked as one authority from May 1974.

In 1983 I had the opportunity to launch the Trader weekly newspaper into Bedworth and Nuneaton for free entrepreneur Lionel Pickering.

It would be 30 years before I returned as the press secretary to the borough's first citizen Bob Copland whose charity fund in 2013-14 raised a record-breaking £70,000 and saw the magnificent achievement of the opening of the Mayor's Cafe and Community Gardens by the end of his year in office.

I'm now returning to my journalistic roots and I want you - the great people of Bedworth - to join me in making the news in your own images.

We're going back in time to resurrect a bygone golden age of local reporting - made famous by old colleagues Mort Birch and Alan Robinson who launched the Bedworth Echo 40 years ago and then seven years ago last week when Mort joined another former friend and scribe Steve Evans in creating the monthly Bedworth Post.

Both papers set out to inform, entertain and fascinate with stories about the people and places that reflect the character, flavour and rich heritage of a town steeped in history from the Domesday Book of 1086 through hat making to ribbon weaving and most famously, mining.

Bedworth Nub News will hope to capture all the above while embracing the advantages of the modern digital era where information is available 24/7 with "your town in your pocket".

The town is rooted in community spirit - something that has returned to the landscape of the UK since the awful events of the coronavirus crisis.

And Nub News can be the perfect platform for your organisation, charity, business, church, school, sports team - anyone in fact - to share your fantastic achievements with the community.

We're here to get to that heart and soul of Bedworth, delivering local news and covering national issues that impact on your doorstep.

There will always be a good read on Bedworth Nub News - because it's about you.

You can contact me with your Bedworth news by phoning 07852 490666 or by emailing [email protected].