Hope ahead of Monday as number of Covid patients at Blackpool Vic plummets

There were just two Covid-positive patients at Blackpool Victoria Hospital mid-week, with none in intensive care, medical director Dr Jim Gardner said.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 2:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th April 2021, 2:26 pm

Medics, exhausted after months of tackling a second wave which at one point saw the hospital treating in excess of 250 Covid patients, are now only seeing one admission per day – if any at all, he revealed.

But there are still 24 people in hospital on the Fylde coast because of the coronavirus but are no longer considered positive for the disease because their diagnosis came more than 14 days ago.

Seven were in general beds at the Vic, 12 were at Clifton Hospital in St Annes, and five were in critical care.

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Dr Jim Gardner, medical director at Blackpool Victoria Hospital
Dr Jim Gardner, medical director at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Speaking during his weekly Covid briefing, Dr Gardner said: “It’s a reminder this is a serious illness and some people are still getting very poorly and needing long hospital stays. But of course the numbers have dropped off dramatically.”

One person had died within 28 days of a positive Covid test within the past week, Dr Gardner said, taking the Vic’s death toll to 762.

“As far as the community figures are concerned, they look very good as well,” he said, citing infection rates per 100,000 people of 19 for Blackpool 15 for Fylde, and 13 for Wyre, with “very low numbers” of over-60s – the most likely to fall seriously ill or die – catching the disease amid the vaccination programme.

“We think it’s a direct correlation to the immunisation programme,” Dr Gardner said.

"There’s a lot of publicity around immunisation in the news.

"The NHS position is that for the at-risk group patients who are being called, the benefits of immunisation – whether it’s with the AstraZenica jab or the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, or others coming through – they have been approved by our own MHRA [the UK’s drugs regulator] and our vaccine services, and the benefits massively outweigh any potential risks.”

Dr Gardner added: “It’s a story that will obviously run out as other age groups come into the frame and other at-risk categories. But for now the UK evidence base is very clear about the benefits outweighing any potential risks.”

*** Restrictions on visiting, which has largely been banned during the second wave, will also be eased. Single visitors will be allowed, with rules yet to be revealed.

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