Five more people have died in East Yorkshire after contracting coronavirus, bringing the number of deaths in the region to 18.

There are also currently 49 people in hospital in our region battling the disease - with 18 of these patients in critical care.

In the first Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust press conference held since the coronavirus outbreak, which was held outside Hull Royal Infirmary on Tuesday afternoon, Chief Operating Officer Teresa Cope announced 18 people in its hospitals had now sadly died.

She said: "We have had 18 people who have sadly died due to Covid."

It comes after an announcement on Monday where the trust which runs Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital confirmed the death toll in the region as 13, meaning five more deaths have been recorded in 24 hours.

Chief Operating Officer Teresa Cope at the press conference at Hull Royal Infirmary

Ms Cope was unable to give a breakdown of ages of the victims and was unable to say if any had underlying health conditions.

Asked how many patients are currently in the trust's hospitals fighting the disease, she said: "So we currently have 49 patients in the trust who are covid positive, of which 18 are currently in our critical care facilities.

"We have a further 30 patients who are on our wards who are being tested for covid, so those patients will get their results within the next 24 hours."

The press conference was held to allow Hull's hospitals to outline its "surge" in demand plan, with the hope of reassuring people the trust "is ready" if national forecasts prove correct and thousands of patients with the virus require hospital admission.

Ms Cope also outlined plans of how the trust will keep essential services running at the height of the outbreak in Hull and the East Riding.

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She said its plans have allowed the trust to triple its critical care capacity, meaning it now has 650 beds available for Covid 19 patients across its sites, and said it has also teamed up with Spire Hull and East Riding Hospital in Anlaby for extra beds.

She also revealed about 700 staff had come out of retirement to return to the frontline, and said over 100 trust staff have now been tested for Covid 19, with tests being carried out daily.

She said: "We have configured our entire hospital to respond to this pandemic.

"This will mean that we will be able to see about 60 per cent of our beds used for Covid 19, that's about 650 of our beds. We have taken steps to triple our critical care capacity."

Ms Cope also paid tribute to all trust staff.

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She said: "None of this would be possible without our dedicated staff, our remarkable people, we know the're remarkable, but over recent weeks they've stepped up and showed a new level of commitment and passion for this cause."