24th May, 2020

15 coronavirus cases confirmed in Coventry and Warwickshire - but figures are tip of iceberg amid test shortage

Les Reid 20th Mar, 2020

COVENTRY and Warwickshire now has 15 confirmed coronavirus cases, latest UK figures show.

They include 11 in the county, which has seen two deaths at Nuneaton’s George Eliot Hospital.

Neighbouring Solihull also now has its first confirmed case. Birmingham has 34 confirmed cases.

The official figures for confirmed diagnosed cases are thought to be the tip of the iceberg in the UK and globally – partly due to a lack of UK testing.

On Monday, the UK’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance estimated UK cases could in reality be 35,000 to 50,000, with some people not getting tested or not having symptoms.

Numbers were expected to double every four to five days – so could now be around 100,000

The latest figures state: “As of 9am on 19 March 2020, 64,621 people have been tested in the UK, of which 61,352 were confirmed negative and 3,269 were confirmed positive. “As of 1pm 144 patients in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) have died.”

Nothing is known of the new cases in this region including the Solihull case, which comes nearly two weeks after the first Coventry and Warwickshire cases.

Testing kits are limited to hospitals and have in recent days been prioritised for the vulnerable and those most in need.

The government says it is addressing the issue, claiming testing kits available will rise initially to 10,000, then up to 25,000 a day.

The UK advice remains that people and families displaying symptoms of a continuous cough or high temperature should self-isolate for seven days for an individual, and 14 days for a household.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said yesterday the government wants to increase the tests which show an active virus, and make available a simpler kit which tests for antibodies, revealing if a patient has previously had the virus.

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