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‘We still need you to stay at home’ – Queen Elizabeth Hospital officials say

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Senior officials at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital have urged the public not to become complacent about their role in the fight against coronavirus.

The trust revealed yesterday that more than 100 patients who contracted the infection have now been discharged from its care since the outbreak began last month.

But nine more deaths have also been confirmed at the hospital in the last few days, increasing that total to 70.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital deputy medical director, Dr Govindan Raghuraman
Queen Elizabeth Hospital deputy medical director, Dr Govindan Raghuraman

And Denise Smith, the QEH’s chief operating officer, yesterday said the public’s continuing support of lockdown restrictions was critical in helping their efforts to treat those who become ill.

She said: “Each recovery is an enormous boost for all of us here at QEH and I’m sure it is just as important for our local community.

“This doesn’t mean we should be complacent, though. We need everyone to carry on observing social distancing and good hand hygiene.

“This will help slow the spread of COVID-19 so hospitals can carry on providing the best care for all our patients. Our message is still very much: Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives.”

The latest update, which was released yesterday morning, said 109 patients who had tested positive for coronavirus have now been discharged from the hospital, an increase of 48 in the last week.

Since the outbreak began here last month, the hospital has been operating a specific pandemic response plan, including separate emergency units for patients with and without the virus, increased critical care capacity and an increase in video consultations.

The hospital’s deputy medical director, Dr Govindan Raghuraman, this week said he had been “humbled and amazed” by the dedication of the hospital’s staff in responding to a crisis he compared to a war against an invisible enemy.

He said: “Coronavirus is changing the way the hospital is functioning – we are constantly adapting and responding to daily changes.”

“Every single person here at the QEH and across the NHS and wider healthcare community is being affected by this. It’s like going into a war zone against an invisible army.

“I hope that the public will continue to take this pandemic seriously, and further still, continue to only attend hospitals if absolutely necessary now and beyond coronavirus.”

Yesterday afternoon, the deaths of six more patients – four women and two men, aged between 54 and 92 – who had tested positive for the virus at the QEH were confirmed.

Three other deaths, of a man in his 70s, a man in his 80s and a woman in her 90s, were announced on Wednesday.

The figures now include the case of QEH healthcare assistant Chrissie Emerson, whose death was announced separately by the hospital on Monday.

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