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No Covid-19 deaths for first time in Medway, Maidstone or Tonbridge and Malling

New figures show three areas of Kent are recording no Covid-19 deaths for the first time since the pandemic struck.

Numbers released by the Office for National Statistics show 21 people in the county died with the virus in the seven days up to July 10 - the latest week for which complete figures are available for deaths occurring in all settings.

Covid-19 deaths recorded across all settings are at their lowest since lockdown
Covid-19 deaths recorded across all settings are at their lowest since lockdown

It is the lowest total since lockdown was enforced, and 91% lower than at the peak of the virus, when 241 people lost their lives in a single week at the start of April.

For the first time, no deaths were recorded among residents of Medway, Maidstone or Tonbridge and Malling.

It had initially been reported that no deaths occurred in Medway in the week up to June 26, but the ONS figures have been updated retrospectively to show one person died in that period.

In the most recent week, five deaths were recorded among residents of both Dartford and Folkestone and Hythe - the county's highest.

The William Harvey Hospital in Ashford
The William Harvey Hospital in Ashford

Four of those from Folkestone and Hythe who lost their lives died in hospital - most likely the nearby William Harvey in Ashford.

The hospital is run by the east Kent hospitals trust, which is currently recording far more Covid-19 deaths than anywhere else in England.

In-hospital transmission is believed to have been an issue for trust, which has called in help from national specialists in infection control.

Last week it tested all 9,000 of its staff in a five-day blitz, with the final results yet to be announced.

Trust bosses say they are working closely with Public Health England and other partners to fully understand the reasons behind the recent number of deaths, while also introducing Covid control measures at their sites.

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