East London hospital fatalities suggest pandemic may have passed peak

Just five new coronavirus deaths were confirmed at east London hospitals today, suggesting the pandemic may have passed its first peak.

Two patients died at Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) and three at Barts Health NHS Trust.

Overall, across the nation, there were 546 deaths from the virus, around 200 higher than yesterday’s total but lower than previous figures.

The total deaths at King George Hospital in Ilford and Queen’s Hospital in Romford, managed by BHRUT, is so far 326 since the start of the pandemic.

At Barts Health NHS Trust, which manages Whipps Cross Hospital in Leytonstone and four inner-east London hospitals, the total is 383.

It is not known how many deaths are still occurring in care homes and the community but the total is thought to be significant.

Last week, Waltham Forest Council’s cabinet met to discuss the dire financial impact the lockdown is having on its finances.

The council has already lost £20 million and expects this figure to  at least double before lockdown ends.

Redbridge Council’s cabinet will meet to discuss the same problem tonight.

The government has so far paid out £1.6 billion in grants across the nation and will pay another £1.6 billion in May.

Victoria Munro

Local Democracy Reporter