The number of Covid-19 deaths in Merseyside has more than doubled in the last fortnight, according to the latest official figures.
Forty-three people died from coronavirus in the region in the two weeks leading up to Thursday January 5 - a 153% increase from 17 recorded deaths during the previous fortnight.
The increase in fatalities comes amid warnings a flu and coronavirus ‘twindemic’ is threatening to overwhelm the NHS and as the World Health Organisation confirms a new covid variant considered ‘the most transmissible’ so far has been detected.
Dubbed ‘The Kraken’, the virus has already become the dominant strain in the USA and Canada and is expected to hit the UK too., with some researchers suggesting it already has.
There is no data yet to prove that XBB.1.5 causes more severe disease than other Omicron variants but an outbreak would pile more pressure on stuggling NHS services this winter.
The number of people being treated in hospital for Covid-19 is already on the rise in Merseyside. NHS England data shows on Tuesday January 4, 272 people were being treated for coronavirus in Hospital Trusts in the region - up from 229 patients on the same day of the previous week.
St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust had the highest number of patients. Figures show 84 beds were occupied by people who tested positive for Covid-19 - a rise of 91% in the last four weeks.
The number of Covid-19 patients hospitalised nationally has increased by 70% in the last four weeks, while the number on mechanical ventilators has increased by 78%.
Covid deaths in Merseyside
A total of 5,640 people had died from Covid-19 in Merseyside when the UK coronavirus dashboard was updated on January 5 – up from 5,597 on December 21.
The figures include anyone who died within 28 days of a positive test result for coronavirus, and whose usual residence was in Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, Knowsley or St Helens.
A total of 177,037 deaths were recorded throughout England by January 5 (Thursday) – up from 175,007 a fortnight ago.
- There were 18 more coronavirus deaths recorded over the last two weeks in Wirral.
- There were 17 more coronavirus deaths recorded over the last two weeks in Liverpool.
- There were 15 more coronavirus deaths recorded over the last two weeks in Sefton.
- There were two more coronavirus deaths recorded over the last two weeks in St Helens.
- There was one more coronavirus death recorded over the last two weeks in Knowsley.