CONFIRMED coronavirus cases in the Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull region have doubled in two days.
A shortage of testing continues to be a factor in masking the vastly higher figures expected for those infected.
The latest official figures reveal that – as of yesterday – Coventry’s confirmed cases had risen to 9, from 4 two days previously.
Solihull cases have jumped from one to four, and Warwickshire has seen a rise of 11 to 17, with a third death confirmed.
The country’s latest death is at Warwick Hospital as opposed to George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton.
Birmingham confirmed cases rose in two days from 34 to 75 yesterday.
The Midlands region had 491 cases yesterday, the latest UK regional breakdown also shows.
Government ministers admitted today the UK is still nowhere near having the desired 25,000 testing kits a day thought necessary to diagnose and deal with every coronavirus case to prevent further spread.
BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show today heard 8,000 tests were available on the best recent days. The government continues to source two types of test – one that diagnoses active infection, and an antibody test for past infection.
Last Monday, the UK’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance estimated the number of people infected in reality in the UK could be 35,000 to 50,000, with many people with the virus not even displaying symptoms.
Numbers were then expected to double around every five days – so could well be above 100,000 now.
Dramatic rises are expected in the coming two and three weeks, and beyond.
Scientific modelling for the government estimates there could be tens of thousands of UK deaths from the Covid-19 disease, even with restrictive measures in place.
The latest government figures state: “As of 9am on 21 March 2020, 72,818 people have been tested in the UK, of which 67,800 were confirmed negative and 5,018 were confirmed positive.
As of 9am, 233 patients in the UK who tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) have died.”
Nothing is known of the new cases in our area which come two weeks after the first diagnosed cases here.
Testing kits are limited to hospitals and have in recent days been prioritised for the vulnerable and those most in need.
The UK advice remains that people displaying symptoms of a continuous cough or high temperature should self-isolate for seven days for an individual, and 14 days for a family.