NO new deaths linked to coronavirus have been recorded by St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust for the second day running.

The number of coronavirus-related deaths at the trust have been steadily falling, with hospital bosses saying earlier this month that it is over the “first peak”.

NHS statistics show that since the outbreak began, 177 people have died in hospitals managed by the trust, which runs Whiston, St Helens and Newton hospitals.

Three deaths linked to COVID-19 were registered by the trust over the weekend, but no new deaths were registered on Monday or Tuesday.

However, there is often a lag with the reporting of deaths following the weekend.

NHS England has also confirmed that the COVID-19 Patient Notification System did not operate for a period of time on Saturday.

It said this may be reflected in the number of deaths reported today.

The figures reported by NHS England and NHS Improvement provides information on all COVID-19 related (suspected and confirmed) deaths in England hospitals.

At the latest count, a further 174 people who tested positive for COVID-19 have died in hospitals in England.

Patients were aged between seven and 102 years old.  Six of the 174 patients, aged between 45 and 90, had no known underlying health condition.

Today, 18 deaths were also reported where there was no positive test result but where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

The latest count brings the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals in England to 24,913.

The NHS figures are updated at 2pm each day and include confirmed death cases reported at 5pm the previous day.

Cases are only included in the data when the positive COVID-19 test result is received, or death certificate confirmed with COVID-19 mentioned.

This results in a lag between a given date of death and the daily death figures for that day.

These figures do not include deaths outside hospital, such as those in care homes.

Separate figures released by St Helens Council show that 147 people have died from all causes in the borough’s care homes since the start of the outbreak to May 15.

The latest figures, which are based on death notifications from care providers, show that 69 deaths are “suspected” of being related to COVID-19.