Greater Caution Needed As Home Deaths Rise

Weekly death toll almost hits 2,000

ANXIOUS care providers today urged further caution as the death toll in care and nursing homes almost hit 2,000 in a week.

Today’s figures from the Office for National Statistic show that 1,971 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes in the week up to 29th January – up from 1,817 the week before. According to these figures 26,680 people died from Covid-19 in care and nursing homes between 28th December 2019 and 29th January.

The Independent Care Group (ICG) today said the need to remain vigilant against Covid-19 was clear.

ICG Chair Mike Padgham said: “Whilst we pray that these numbers will soon start to fall, we cannot forget that Covid-19 is still taking a terrible toll amongst the most vulnerable.

“This second wave has been every bit as devastating as the first and we cannot let up in our fight against coronavirus.

“People are starting to talk about routes out of Covid-19 and the lockdowns, but for those caring for our oldest and most vulnerable, we are still at a critical point in this fight.

“The vaccine is now playing its part but until everyone is protected, we have to keep observing the rules and keeping everyone safe.”

Dr Layla McCay, director at the NHS Confederation, said: “These figures are a clear reminder of the heavy human cost of the COVID-19 crisis. This is still a very real emergency, with more than 112,000 lives tragically lost to the virus across the UK, and nearly 30,000 people in hospital with COVID-19 – more than at the height of the first peak last spring.

“The real success of the vaccine rollout shows what the NHS can achieve, on a huge scale and in a very short space of time. Lockdown is also beginning to have an effect, but the numbers of cases and deaths are still very high. We all need to continue to abide by the restrictions, which should only be lifted gradually, and when there is clear evidence that it is safe to do so.”