There has been a 50 per cent rise in the number of people in hospital across Devon and Cornwall following a positive COVID-19 test – with a doubling in Derriford Hospital.

The NHS England figures, released at the end of this week, give the latest details of the admissions and diagnoses of coronavirus patients by hospital trust.

It shows that as of Tuesday, November 3, the most recent date the information is available for, there were 156 people in Devon’s hospitals and six in Cornwall. This compares to 99 and four as of October 27’s figures.

Of the 156 patients, there were 38 in Torbay Hospital (up from 33), 38 in Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital (23), 16 in North Devon District Hospital (11), 64 in Derriford Hospital in Plymouth (32), six at the Royal Cornwall Hospital (4), but no-one in Cornish Partnership Trust hospitals.

And the numbers of patients in Mechanical Ventilation beds has doubled in the last seven days, with as of November 3, 18 patients, compared to nine as of October 27.

There was one patient in Torbay Hospital and the RD&E, two in the Royal Cornwall Hospital, six in Derriford Hospital, and eight in North Devon District Hospital.

The figures show the amount of patients in hospital following a positive COVID-19 test who are currently occupying a bed.

But not every patient would necessarily have been admitted to hospital due to COVID-19, with a small number of patients either contracting the virus inside the hospital, or being admitted for unrelated reasons but subsequently testing positive asymptotically when given routine tests.

In the last seven days, seven people have died in hospitals in Devon following a positive COVID-19 test, with four in Plymouth and three in Torbay.

Nearly 2,000 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the last seven days across Devon and Cornwall.

Government statistics show that 1,946 new cases have been confirmed across the region in the past seven days in both pillar 1 data from tests carried out by the NHS and pillar 2 data from commercial partners, compared to 1,662 new cases confirmed the previous week.

The worst affected areas are North Devon, where cases have nearly doubled, and in East Devon and Torbay, where cases have more than doubled.

A more positive pattern is emerging in Teignbridge, which has seen the number of new cases fall in the previous seven days.

Cornwall, Mid Devon, Torridge and West Devon have seen small rises, as has the South Hams, with three more cases confirmed this week than last week.

Plymouth is still the area where the highest number of new cases were confirmed, but the total only rose by one compared to last week, while Exeter saw the exact same number of new cases as it did the previous week.

Of the 1,946 new cases confirmed since October 30, 341 were in Cornwall, 207 in East Devon, 196 in Exeter, 73 in Mid Devon, 113 in North Devon, 427 in Plymouth, 79 in the South Hams, 103 in Teignbridge, 305 in Torbay, 41 in Torridge and 51 in West Devon.

Report by local democarcy reporter Daniel Clark