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Princess Alexandra Hospital announces deaths of its first Covid-19 patients without underlying health issues

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Two Covid-19 patients at Princess Alexandra Hospital have become the first without underlying health conditions to die there.

They were among eight more fatal cases announced by the Harlow hospital on Friday (April 3). One of them, aged 51, is the youngest PAH victim so far. The previous youngest was 56.

It takes the number who have died with the severe acute respiratory disease at Princess Alexandra – which is the closest general hospital to Bishop's Stortford – to 35.

Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow. GVs. Gate 1 - Hamstel Road entrance. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (32922170)
Princess Alexandra Hospital, Harlow. GVs. Gate 1 - Hamstel Road entrance. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (32922170)

Nationally, the coronavirus-related death toll stands at 3,605 on Friday, up 684 on the day before.

Of the 35 deaths at PAH, 30 have come in the last four days. The first was 11 days ago.

In a standard statement released on Friday at 5.10pm, Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust chief executive Lance McCarthy said: “We can confirm that, sadly, eight patients aged between 51 and 85 years old passed away at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.

"They had tested positive for Covid-19 and six of these patients had underlying health conditions.

“Our thoughts and condolences remain with the patients’ families and loved ones at this difficult time."

Covid-19 death toll at Princess Alexandra Hospital

Monday March 23 – 1 death announced

Thursday March 26 – 3

Saturday March 28 – 1

Monday March 30 – 9

Wednesday April 1 – 8

Thursday April 2 – 5

Friday April 3 – 8

TOTAL – 35 deaths

Across the UK, almost 175,000 people have been tested and about 135,000 have been found not to have the virus, leaving 38,168 confirmed cases as of 5pm Thursday (April 2).

There are 637 in Hertfordshire and 547 in Essex – up 9.5% and 5.8% from 582 and 517 on Wednesday's totals

However, the number of people with the respiratory infection is estimated to be much higher as only those in hospital are currently tested.

The Stortford Indie has been told that a 73-year-old local man with underlying health issues who was admitted to PAH and found to have the deadly respiratory disease has come through a 10-day fight.

The unidentified pensioner arrived home on Wednesday evening (April 1) and we hope to speak to him soon once he has rested more fully.

* PLEASE NOTE: The death figures are people who have died in hospital with the virus infection in their body. They do not include deaths in the community, for example in care homes, or people who have died at home. So the true death will be higher.

In the hospital death cases, the virus could have been the major cause, a contributory factor or simply present when they died of something else. Most have an underlying health condition, such as heart disease or diabetes, that may be more of a factor in their death. Just over half are 80 or over and 85% are 60 or more.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is trying to determine the proportion of these deaths that are caused specifically by coronavirus. Similar work in Italy suggested about 12% of them were.

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