There have been more than 60 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in North Devon and Torridge in the last month.

The number of positive tests across the two districts tallied 65 in September – more than five times as many as the 12 recorded in August.

There were 40 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in North Devon in September, with a further 25 in Torridge.

It takes the total cumulative number of confirmed cases across the two districts to 272 as of October 6, with 185 people testing positive for the virus in North Devon and 87 in Torridge.

On Wednesday (September 30), Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the country is at a ‘critical moment’ in the battle with coronavirus as England’s chief medical officer warned hospital admissions and intensive care cases are ‘heading the wrong way’.

The Prime Minister used a Downing Street press conference to urge people to follow rules aimed at curbing the spread of the virus and demonstrate ‘forbearance, common sense and a willingness to make sacrifices for the safety of others’.

He warned that if the evidence required it ‘we will not hesitate to take further measures’ that would ‘be more costly than the ones we have put into effect now’.

“But if we put in the work together now, then we give ourselves the best possible chance of avoiding that outcome and avoiding further measures,” he said.

Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said the number of people in hospital was rising, particularly in hotspots, although the figures remained at a much lower level than the beginning of April.

“We are pointing out that the direction of travel for both hospitals and intensive care is going in the wrong direction, particularly in these areas that have seen rapid increases in cases,” he said.

In a stark warning, Prof Whitty added: “We have got a long winter ahead of us”.

There were 130 reported Covid-19 hospital admissions in the South West in September, although the region has not yet had a flare-up of cases as seen in parts of the North East, North West and the Midlands.

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust said there was ‘no update concerning Covid-19 admissions’ to North Devon District Hospital at this time.