UK COVID-19 Daily: Pregnant Nurse Dies, Baby Saved

Tim Locke

April 15, 2020

These are the UK coronavirus stories you need to know about today.

Pregnant Nurse Dies, Baby Saved

A 28-year-old pregnant nurse who tested positive for coronavirus has died. Her baby was delivered successfully and is said to be well.

Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong worked at the Luton & Dunstable hospital in Bedfordshire. 

She was tested on 5th April and was admitted to the hospital on the 7th April. 

In a statement David Carter, CEO of Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "It is with great sadness that I can confirm the death of one of our nurses, Mary Agyeiwaa Agyapong, who passed away on Sunday. 

"Mary worked here for 5 years and was a highly valued and loved member of our team, a fantastic nurse and a great example of what we stand for in this Trust."

Among other recently reported healthcare deaths was that of care home nurse Rahima Bibi Sidhanee. The 68-year-old worked at the  Grennell Lodge nursing and care home in Sutton, London. Her son Abu said: "She said the elderly people needed her and she actually started doing an extra shift. That was how she was, people were in need of her and she was there. She was so dedicated and caring. She was bubbly and much loved at the home."

In Memoriam: Healthcare Workers Who Have Died of COVID-19.

UK Deaths

Another 761 UK COVID-19 hospital deaths were reported today taking the total to 12,868.

Of the 651 deaths in English hospitals patients were aged between 20 and 101. Of these,  20 patients who died had no known underlying health conditions.  

Government Chief Medical Adviser Professor Chris Whitty was asked whether we'd reached the peak of the epidemic. "Our view is that it's probably reaching the peak overall, and that's what the flattening shows," he said. However, he expected a "bounce up" in deaths as has been the case after recent weekends.

Northern Ireland's coronavirus lockdown is to be extended until 9th May, First Minister Arlene Foster announced today. Scotland and Wales have already said restrictions will continue. Mr Hancock was asked if the Westminster Government would follow suit. "We'll wait until the formal decision is taken tomorrow," he said.

Scotland's Deaths

Yesterday the Official for National Statistics issued weekly figures for all COVID-19 deaths in England and Wales to complement the daily hospital mortality figures.

Today the National Records of Scotland issued its weekly figures of deaths where coronavirus is mentioned on death certificates, even if suspected rather than confirmed with testing. 

Of all COVID-19 deaths registered up to Sunday 12th April in Scotland:

  • 25% related to care homes

  • 62% of deaths were in hospitals 

  • 13% of deaths were at home or non-institutional settings

  • 70% of deaths were of people aged 75 or older

In the week 6-12th April COVID-19 accounted for 31% of all registered deaths.

There were a total of 1969 all-cause deaths that week compared to the 5-year average of 1100.

In her daily briefing, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said 433 care homes in Scotland have reported coronavirus cases so far. 

End of Life Care Home Visit Allowed

The Government set out its ambition to test all care home staff and residents with COVID-19 symptoms today "as testing capacity continues to increase". 

Currently, swabbing is recommended for only up to five residents who show symptoms of the virus in a care home to confirm the existence of an outbreak. Guidance published earlier this month said: "Testing all cases is not required as this would not change subsequent management of the outbreak."

At the Downing Street daily news briefing the Health and Social Care Secretary for England, Matt Hancock, had further social care announcements: "We're introducing new procedures so we can limit the risk of infection while wherever possible giving people's closest loved ones the chance to say goodbye. 

"And we're making crystal clear that it is unacceptable for advanced care plans, including Do Not Attempt to Resuscitate orders to be applied in a blanket fashion to any group of people. This must always be a personalised process, as it always has been."

The goal for England is to carry our 100,000 tests a day by the end of the month. Half way through the month there were 15,994 tests conducted in the latest 24 hour reporting period.

Mr Hancock was asked about slow progress towards meeting his target. He insisted "capacity is ramping up". He continued: "The reason that the figures on the number of tests done have been flat over the last couple of days has been because of not enough demand rather than not enough capacity," he said.

More News in Brief

  • Some elements of PPE could be reused, according to a leaked Public Health England (PHE) draft document reported in the Guardian which said: “These are last-resort alternatives, but, given the current in-country stock and the reduced ability to resupply, we are suggesting that these are implemented until confirmation of adequate resupply is in place." 

  • A pharmacist has been arrested on suspicion of illegally selling coronavirus testing kits. The National Crime Agency (NCA) arrested the 46 year old from Croydon on Saturday. Officers seized around £20,000 and arrested him under the Fraud Act 2006 after making false and misleading claims about the tests' capability. NCA Director of Investigations, Nikki Holland, said: "Illegally selling testing kits completely undermines the nation’s collective response to the pandemic and actually endangers lives." The MHRA said there are no CE marked tests for home use.

  • Police in England issued 3203 fines for lockdown breaches between March 27th and April 13th. National Police Chiefs' Council Chair Martin Hewitt said: "Police have interacted with the public in their tens of thousands, with most engagements ending positively and with no need for a fine. Our approach of engage, explain and encourage, and only as a last resort, enforce - is working and will continue."

  • This year's Tour de France has been pushed back to start on 29th August after the French government extended its coronavirus lockdown measures to mid-July. A message on le Tour's website said: "We all hope that the 2020 Tour de France will help to turn the page on the difficult period that we are currently experiencing." Chris Froome tweeted that it was: "The news many of us have been waiting for. Some light at the end of the tunnel," adding "assuming all goes well." No date has been set for the women's event, La Course.

  • Captain Tom Moore, 99, has raised £7m for NHS charities by walking 100 laps of his garden. "Captain Tom, you're an inspiration to us all," Matt Hancock said.

  • A woman aged 106 is believed to be the UK's oldest patient to recover from COVID-19. Connie Titchen was admitted to Birmingham's City Hospital in mid-March with suspected pneumonia but was then diagnosed with coronavirus. She got a round of applause from staff as she was discharged. She said: "I feel very lucky that I’ve fought off this virus." Ward Sister Kelly Smith said: "It’s nice to see patients leave our ward after having beaten this virus."

See more global coronavirus updates in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Centre.


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