Increase in coronavirus cases diagnosed in Lancashire

Official figures show that 55 more cases of coronavirus have been recorded in Lancashire.

Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 5:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 5:06 pm
Public Health England figures for Lancashire

It brings the number of cases recorded in the area up to 368, as the British Medical Association warns coronavirus patients could have their treatment withdrawn and offered to others who are more likely to survive.

Public Health England figures show that 368 people had been confirmed as testing positive for Covid-19 by 9am Wednesday morning (April 1) in Lancashire, up from 313 the same time on Tuesday. A week before, there were 78 cases.

They were among the 2,413 cases recorded across the North West, a figure which rose by 281 over the 24-hour period.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Across the UK, 29,474 people had tested positive for coronavirus as of 9am on Wednesday, up from 25,150 at the same point on Tuesday, Department of Health and Social Care figures show.

In total, 152,979 people had been tested, and, as of 5pm on Tuesday, 2,352 had died.

The British Medical Association's latest ethics advice said health professionals could be forced to make "grave decisions" should hospitals become overwhelmed with patients.

The document warns that decisions around rationing scarce resources, such as ventilators, could determine whether large numbers of patients will receive life-saving treatment or not.

Dr John Chisholm, chairman of the BMA's medical ethics committee, said: "Looking ahead to the coming weeks, if hard choices are required, we know they will be contested. There will be anger and pain.

"People who, in normal circumstances, would receive strenuous treatment may instead be given palliation in order to favour those with greater likelihood of benefiting.

"Nobody wants to make these decisions, but if resources are overwhelmed, these decisions must be made."

The BMA's guidance states that during the peak of the pandemic doctors may have to assess a person's eligibility for treatment based on a "capacity to benefit quickly" basis.

In other cornavirus news:

The World Health Organisation said the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases around the globe will exceed one million in the coming days.

Former chief inspector of prisons Lord Ramsbotham has called for the early release of some prisoners serving short sentences to help overcrowded jails cope with the coronavirus outbreak, as a third British prisoner died after contracting Covid-19.

The All England Club announced Wimbledon would not be staged this year for the first time since World War Two.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace became the fourth Cabinet minister to self-isolate due to Covid-19.

A string of summer festivals in Edinburgh, including the International Festival, Festival Fringe, Art Festival, International Book Festival, and The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, were cancelled for the first time in more than 70 years.