'More patients now in hospital with Covid-19 on Fylde coast than at any point during first wave'
There are now more patients with Covid-19 in hospital on the Fylde coast than at any point during the first wave, according to sources.
An exact figure is expected to be released tomorrow, but a senior figure at Blackpool Victoria Hospital said it will be "significantly higher" than last Wednesday's total of 82.
A month ago, there were just six patients in hospital with the coronavirus.
Infection rates in Blackpool, Fylde, and Wyre continue to grow, though it remains to be seen whether placing the resort under the strictest anti-Covid measures on Saturday will help bring them back under control.
There are also fewer people getting seriously ill from Covid, the source said, with patients tending to be younger than during the first wave and therefore at less risk.
Improvements in treatment have also been credited - with cheap steroid dexamethasone prescribed to extremely poorly patients to cut the risk of death by a third for those on ventilators and a fifth for those on oxygen.
The death toll at the Vic has increased by four to 264 over the past six days, though it rose by nine the week before.
Another source, who confirmed "numbers at the Vic have now passed the first peak", was unable to say how many patients are in the Covid Intensive Care Unit (CICU) but said: "The hospitals don't have the capacity.
"The original reason for lockdown was to enable the NHS to cope."
Dr Jim Gardner, medical director at the Victoria Hospital and Clifton Hospital in St Annes, is expected to say how many people are in the CICU tomorrow.
Last week, he said that figure was five, and said the number of those in hospital - which is feared to have doubled since - was already "very concerning".
He said: "Now we're trying to maintain our clinical programme as much as possible with our elective surgery, general surgery, cancer work, orthopaedic, CMT, urology, and so on, but clearly as we get busier that other work is going to come under pressure."
In the seven days to October 15, Blackpool's infection rate was 323.4 per 100,000 people, with 451 new cases.
The week before, it was 240.2.
There were 192 new cases in Fylde, where the rate increased from 193.1 to 237.7, and 278 in Wyre, where it rose from 196.3 to 248.
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