TWELVE new coronavirus-related deaths were recorded in Worcestershire's hospitals this weekend – the most since the peak of the pandemic in April.

NHS England figures on November 14 and 15 reported nine deaths on the Saturday and a further three on Sunday, across the county's hospitals.

However, this was far off the worst weekend death toll of the pandemic so far, on April 18 and 19, when 30 fatalities were recorded.

The weeks and months since then have seen consistently low death rates. In recent weeks, there has been either zero or one death reported most days.

Worcester's MP, Robin Walker, said the news of 12 recorded deaths at the weekend was “troubling”, and he urged residents to do what they can to contain the spread of the virus in the county.

“It is definitely worrying, and shows why we had to take further action and re-introduce nationwide lockdown measures," said the Conservative MP.

“Very sadly, when hospital cases rise, so do deaths, so it is very concerning and it does seem the decision on lockdown was the right one.”

Mr Walker said it was vitally important the people of Worcester and the surrounding area continue to follow the lockdown restrictions.

He added: “There has been a tendency to think that because the cases tend to largely affect the elderly more, that we should only protect them, but unfortunately, when it affects others, it finds it’s way back to the elderly.

“My thoughts are with all those who have lost someone and we have to make sure when these national restrictions are lifted, that Worcestershire remains in the lower tiers (of restrictions).”

The death toll coincides with the news that the number of Covid patients in county hospitals has reached levels not seen since May.

A total of 64 beds were occupied by Covid patients in Worcestershire on November 5, according to the latest NHS figures.

Seven of the people in hospital with Covid were using a ventilator.

The last time the number of occupied beds was that high among Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust was in May.

Figures show there was a sharp increase in Covid patients being admitted to hospital towards the end of October, with eight people taken onto wards in the last two weeks.

Six of the people were admitted in the week up to November 4.

An average of 21 beds were occupied by Covid patients throughout October – around three per cent of all beds.

The number of beds occupied by Covid patients was in single figures from the first week of July until late September, before hitting 10 beds on September 29.

A total of 20 beds were occupied by Covid patients in Worcestershire on October 18 before reaching 50 beds on October 31.

The highest average number of hospital beds occupied by Covid patients during a month in Worcestershire was 110 in April.

The Acute Hospitals Trust covers Worcestershire Royal Hospital, Evesham Community Hospital as well as the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch and Kidderminster Hospital.

The Health and Care NHS trust covers community hospitals and rehabilitation wards, including Worcester City Impatient Unit, Malvern Community Hospital, Evesham Community Hospital, Pershore Community Hospital, the Princess of Wales Community Hospital in Bromsgrove, Tenbury Community Hospital and the Wyre Forest Ward.