A patient who tested positive for Covid-19 has died at North Devon District Hospital.

Figures from NHS England released on Wednesday (April 8) confirmed the patient died on Monday, April 6.

It is Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust’s first recorded coronavirus death at the hospital.

The latest figures show that 53 people have died in hospitals in Devon.

The NHS England figures do not include deaths that have taken place outside of hospital, such as in care homes.

A Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust spokesperson said: “Sadly, we can confirm that one patient who was being cared for at North Devon District Hospital, and has died, had tested positive for COVID-19.

“Their families have been informed about the cause of death and are following national guidance.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with them at this difficult and distressing time. Out of respect for their privacy we will not be commenting further.”

”North Devon MP Selaine Saxby also added her condolences, saying: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the first victim of the virus in North Devon.

“Thanks also to the fantastic team at North Devon District Hospital who I know are working tirelessly to care for us.

“This also acts as a reminder that whilst we do not have as many cases as other parts of the country, the virus is here in our community and we should continue to stay at home, which will help protect the NHS and ultimately hopefully save more lives”

Last week, Northern Devon Healthcare Trust said it was seeing increasing numbers of patients with coronavirus being treated at the hospital in Barnstaple.

Dr George Hands, respiratory consultant and clinical lead for COVID-19 at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “On behalf of everyone at the trust, I would like to reassure you that we are taking all the necessary measures to prepare, and we are only just starting to see the numbers grow.”

“Everyone has a part to play in supporting northern Devon to get through this. If there is one piece of advice I would like everyone to take on board, it would be to make sure you are following the government guidance on self isolating and social distancing.

“I cannot say enough about how vitally important this is.”

NHS England said that the total number of people who have died in English hospitals after testing positive for coronavirus is 6,483, a rise of 828 on the figure announced on Tuesday.

The patients were aged between 22 and 103-years-old. It added that 46 of the 828 had no known underlying health conditions.