THREE more deaths from Covid-19 were reported in the last 24 hours in the city, official figures reveal.

The deaths in Brighton and Hove bring the total number reported by January 11 in the city to 434.

It means there have been six deaths in the past week in the city, an increase on three the previous week.

They were among 19,345 deaths recorded across the South East.

Cases of Covid-19 in Brighton and Hove have now surpassed 60,000 since the pandemic started, with 329 reported cases over the last 24 hours.

The rate of infection in the city now stands at 20,697 cases per 100,000 people, which remains lower than the average for England of 22,051.

Across the UK, the number of recorded cases increased by 115,280 over the period, to 14,732,594.

The news comes after University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust announced it is postponing some non-urgent operations and redeploying staff amid "unprecedented delays" in discharging patients, as well as high numbers of staff off with the virus.

Chief Nurse Dr Maggie Davies said the trust is doing "everything we can to ease pressures" and said urgent operations and cancer treatment are being prioritised.

The trust is currently treating 53 patients with Covid-19 at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, with five or fewer of those in intensive care or high dependency beds.

A councillor warned that the city is just a couple of weeks from seeing a wave of coronavirus cases similar to that seen in London.

Cllr Peter Atkinson, who also serves as a nurse, said that the number of patients being admitted to hospital in recent days and weeks was "worrying".

He said: "You’ve got a very constant stream of people and quite a high number who wouldn’t normally be admitted, because Covid is causing them to be unwell.

"This is a number of people being admitted far in excess of what would normally happen, and in addition you’ve got the problem of staff being off sick themselves or having to self-isolate, and that covers the mental health trust, the community trust and the acute hospitals trust."

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