Bedford residents urged to 'knuckle down' as number of hospital admissions for coronavirus increase ten-fold

Residents are being urged to "knuckle down and stick to lockdown rules." Credit: ITV Anglia

People in Bedford are being urged to "knuckle down" as the number of hospital admissions for coronavirus increase ten-fold.

There's now 48 people at Bedford Hospital with Covid-19, up from four, just over two weeks ago.

"We've really all got to knuckle down and get on with it for now as difficult as it is," Cllr Louise Jackson said.

"Those numbers are going up and those numbers in our vulnerable age groups are going up. It's such a serious illness even before we start talking about long Covid."

Mayor Dave Hodgson said everyone has to stick to the rules to stop filling up hospital beds. Credit: ITV Anglia

Councillors have warned that if the numbers don't drop, Bedford could go into tier two when the national lockdown is set to end next month.

Council chief executive Philip Simpkins said: "Our numbers are close to what was being used last week to push an area into tier two.

"I absolutely must stress that if our numbers do not come down there is a strong likelihood when we come out of national lockdown Bedford could go straight into tier two and not down to tier one."

The Borough's Public Health Chief Officer is urging people to stick to lockdown rules "to relieve pressure on the hospital and prevent deaths."

Ian Brown told the local outbreak engagement board last week, that at the height of the first wave there was a maximum of 69 inpatients at Bedford hospital with coronavirus.

"We are not far away from that now as it stands." he said.

"We should not be thinking of what we can do, we should be thinking of what we should do."

People are being told to maintain their distance Credit: ITV Anglia

Apart from Luton, where the rate is currently up from 189.2 to 255.3 cases per 100,000 people, every area in Eastern England is recording a rate below 200, for the week ending November 4.

Last week, councillors in Bedford were told that a local record of 41 cases were uncovered in just one day in the borough.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said everyone has to stick to the rules to stop the infection spreading and filling up hospital beds, which would block others from being treated.

He urged people to avoid contact with others, stay at home, and only make essential trips.