FIVE more deaths have been reported in the area covered by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust over the last 48 hours.

Two were on Saturday and three today in the hospitals run by the trust, in Basingstoke and Winchester.

There were no further details but most of the Covid-19 patients in the trust are being cared for at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester.

However no deaths have been reported over the weekend in the Winchester district, although sometimes the statistics released by the NHS and the Office for National Statistics are not quite in line.

Daily death counts are revised each day, with each case backdated to the actual date of death. This means some of the deaths that were first recorded in the latest period may actually have taken place days earlier. This sometimes creates slightly different figures between the NHS and the Government figures.

Hampshire County Council area cases climbed from 10,532 to 10,712 over the last 24 hours, an increase of 180, the first time in eight days it has been below 200.

In the Winchester district there have been 15 new cases today and 33 on Saturday, bringing the number since the start of the pandemic to 1,089, an infection rate of 872.2 per 100,000 people since March.

The latest number for Covid patients at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester is 43 last Wednesday, up from 33 from the previous Thursday. Last Wednesday there were 14 at the North Hampshire Hospital in Basingstoke.

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) has launched a campaign to boost the public health message. COVID Zero aims to reduce transmissions within hospitals to nil.

In the last seven days up to today there have been 172 cases reported in Winchester district (down 9 on yesterday), compared to 148 for the previous seven days (up 10).

The Government website lags behind, reporting 169 cases in the seven days to October 27, a rate of 135.4 per 100,000 people, up on the previous day (157 cases/125.7).

‘Winchester district’ comprises more than just the city and is the city council area which stretches from Micheldever in the north to Southwick in the south, from Sparsholt in the west to Bramdean in the east.

The number of deaths in Hampshire hospitals, reported by the NHS, is now 645, up four over the weekend. The figure for fatalities at the Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which includes the RHCH, is 117, up four. For the other local trusts: Portsmouth, 241, same; Solent, 2, same; Southern Health, 17, same; Southampton, 214, same. Only deaths that occur in hospitals where the patient has tested positive for Covid-19 are recorded, with deaths in the community excluded, such as those in care homes.

The total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic of people who had had a positive test result for Covid-19 and died within 28 days of the first positive test, is: Hampshire, 752, up five, (54.3 per 100,000 people since start of pandemic), Portsmouth, 80, same (37.2) and Southampton, 129, same, (50.7). The Winchester district figure, the city council area, is 82, a rate of 65.7, higher than the other three areas mentioned. But all the Hampshire figures are well below the national average.

Across the south-east region, which includes Hampshire, there were 576 patients in hospital yesterday, up 17 on Friday. Regarding Covid patients admitted to hospital, the latest available figure is 103 reported on Thursday, up 23 on Wednesday, in the south-east region, which includes Hampshire. The numbers are not broken down for the hospitals in Hampshire. There are 35 people on ventilators, up one on Friday.

But as reported yesterday the 'R' number, the rate of reproduction, has again fallen slightly in the south-east region over the last week, meaning fewer people are being infected.

The number has dropped slightly to between 1.2 and 1.4 meaning that on average every 10 people infected will infect between 12 and 14 other people. The growth rate in the south east region is now between +3% and +6%, meaning the number of new infections is growing by up to 6% every day.