A SECOND patient at York Hospital has died after testing positive for coronavirus.

The person died yesterday, just a day after a patient in their 90s became the hospital's first coronavirus-related fatality.

A York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust spokeswoman confirmed that a second patient being cared for at York Hospital who had tested positive for Covid-19 had died, but could not give any more details at this stage.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with their family at this difficult and distressing time," she added.

News of the second death came after it emerged last night that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases had risen in the City of York Council area by three to 14 at 9am yesterday.

Figures published by Public Health England also showed that the North Yorkshire County Council area had 45 confirmed cases, up by 15, while the number of confirmed cases in the East Riding of Yorkshire area also rose, by three to 19.

The figures did not represent the total number of cases of the virus, because people are only being tested in the most serious suspected cases.

But they presented a broad picture of which parts of the country are seeing large numbers of patients who are seriously ill, with the York area seeing considerably fewer than Hampshire, which had 251 confirmed cases and Birmingham, with 228.

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust confirmed earlier this week that a second person had died in Harrogate after testing positive for COVID-19.

The first person who died in Harrogate was an elderly patient with other significant underlying health conditions.

There has also been one coronavirus-related death in East Yorkshire. Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said the man, in his 60s, who had been treated in Castle Hill Hospital, had underlying health conditions.

Meanwhile, London hospitals are facing a “wicked combination” of an “explosion” in demand and “unprecedented” staff sickness rates, a senior health service figure has warned today.

Chris Hopson, the chief executive of NHS Providers – which represents care trusts – said that, while critical care capacity has been expanded between five and seven times, hospital bosses are seeing a “continuous tsunami” of demand.

Mr Hopson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme today that this was combined with sickness rates of up to 50 per cent.

He added: “They are struggling with two things.

“The first is the explosion of demand they are seeing in seriously ill patients.

“They talk about wave after wave after wave – the word that’s often used to me is a continuous tsunami.

“We are now seeing 30%, 40% and indeed in some places 50% sickness rates as staff catch the virus or are in vulnerable groups or have to self-isolate.

“That’s unprecedented absence rate.

“So what we have got is a really wicked combination – trusts trying to deal with a lot more demand than they have ever had before with a lot fewer staff than they have had before.”