Sombre warning as Suffolk and north Essex celebrate first day with no Covid-19 deaths since March
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Suffolk and north Essex hospitals have recorded the first day since March 22 where there have been no coronavirus-related deaths – however health experts have warned there is still a long way to go before we can relax.
There have been a total of 333 deaths at East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust hospitals, while West Suffolk Foundation Trust have reported 70 deaths in all.
Dr Dan Poulter, Conservative MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, has been working on the frontline as an NHS hospital doctor throughout the coronavirus crisis and is worried people are celebrating too soon.
“It is great news to see a day without deaths, but we have a very long way to go before we return to normal or the new normal,” he said.
“We can be cautiously optimistic we have overcome the first wave of Covid-19 – but it is very likely there will be a second or even third wave.
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“It is very important people don’t let down their guard.
“The virus is still very much out there.”
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Dr Poulter is sure that infection control methods such as social distancing and hand washing are here to stay long term, but his biggest concern is the future winter season when temperatures drop and people head back indoors.
He added: “We know the virus spreads better in cold conditions and we have got to be very vigilant for those colder, darker months.”
James Reeder, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for Public Health and Prevention, also warned against premature celebration in fear of further infections.
He said: “Speaking on behalf of the county council, which is part of the Suffolk Resilience Forum, it is of course pleasing to see there were no deaths recorded today due to Covid-19 but this is not a time to celebrate.
“All local authorities, health partners and emergency services continue to work closely together to support residents across the county to stay alert, control the spread of the virus and save lives.
“We have a very long way to go if we are to successfully beat this virus and we all have a role to play.”
He has reminded people to continue to follow national guidance, in particular hand washing and social distancing, as “relatively simple but effective measures”.