Two more people with coronavirus have died under the care of NHS hospital trusts in Lancashire.

In new data published by NHS England this afternoon (July 16), Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has recorded one further death, bringing its total to 248. They died on Monday, June 29.

It is well known that there can be a delay in recording deaths, as there has been in this case.

This means that each death is not reported by the NHS on the following day. Therefore, increases in the numbers should be treated with caution.

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust also recorded one further fatality, bringing its death toll to 150. They sadly lost their life on Monday this week (July 13).

It brings Lancashire's overall death toll to 1,003.

No further coronavirus deaths have been recorded at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, University Hospitals Of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust, and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

Across England, a further 19 people who tested positive for the coronavirus have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 29,144.

Five of the fatalities were in the North West, with patients aged between 52 and 91 years old. All patients had known underlying health conditions and their families have been informed.

There are no new deaths of people who tested positive for coronavirus in Wales, with the number remaining at 1,545, Public Health Wales said.

As of Thursday, July 16, the total number of coronavirus related deaths at Lancashire hospital trusts is as follows:

Meanwhile, hackers linked to the Russian intelligence agencies are targeting British scientists seeking to develop a coronavirus vaccine.

In a joint statement with the US National Security Agency and the Canadian Communication Security Establishment, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said the attacks were part of a global campaign by the group known as APT29 to steal the secrets of vaccine research.

NCSC director of operations Paul Chichester said: “We condemn these despicable attacks against those doing vital work to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

“Working with our allies, the NCSC is committed to protecting our most critical assets and our top priority at this time is to protect the health sector.

“We would urge organisations to familiarise themselves with the advice we have published to help defend their networks.”

The UK is home to two of the leading research programmes to develop a vaccine based at Oxford University and Imperial College London.

The NCSC said that, together with the US and the Canadians, it had assessed that APT29 – also known as the Dukes or Cozy Bear – was “almost certainly” operating as part of the Russian intelligence services.

It said the group’s campaign of “malicious activity” was aimed predominantly at government, diplomatic, think-tank, healthcare and energy targets in an attempt to steal valuable intellectual property.

The NCSC has previously warned that APT (standing for advanced persistent threat) groups have been targeting organisations involved in both national and international Covid-19 research.

APT29 is said to use a variety of tools and techniques, including spear-phishing and custom malware known as “WellMess” and “WellMail”.

Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said: “It is completely unacceptable that the Russian Intelligence Services are targeting those working to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

“While others pursue their selfish interests with reckless behaviour, the UK and its allies are getting on with the hard work of finding a vaccine and protecting global health.

“The UK will continue to counter those conducting such cyber attacks, and work with our allies to hold perpetrators to account.”

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