Coronavirus: Four Chelsea Pensioners die after contracting Covid-19

16 April 2020, 19:00

A total of 15 of the Pensioners have recovered from the illness
A total of 15 of the Pensioners have recovered from the illness. Picture: PA
Rachael Kennedy

By Rachael Kennedy

Four Chelsea Pensioners have died after contracting coronavirus, a spokesperson for the Royal Hospital Chelsea has confirmed.

In a statement on Thursday, the Royal said two of the deaths had occurred at its facility, while another two of the Pensioners had lost their lives at a local NHS hospital.

It added that a further 15 Pensioners had since recovered from a confirmed diagnosis, or symptoms of the virus when testing was previously unavailable.

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"We continue to review the measures in place at the Royal Hospital in light of our own detailed analysis, of the clinical and scientific data available from outside and mindful of current and emerging government, NHS and Public Health England advice," the spokesperson said.

The Royal Hospital Chelsea in central London is a retirement home occupied by 290 Chelsea Pensioners - who are veterans of the British armed forces.

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Since 14 February, the home said it had begun to introduce a "graduated series of measures" to protect its population and staff.

It did not say how many of its residents in total had tested positive or had reported symptoms of COVID-19.

Read the full statement here:

"Since the 14th of February, when the Royal Hospital Chelsea introduced the first of a graduated series of measures to protect our population of Pensioners and staff, out of a population of 290 Chelsea Pensioners we are very sad to announce that we have suffered two COVID-related deaths here within the Royal Hospital, and a further two COVID-related deaths of our Pensioners in our local NHS Hospital.

"15 Pensioners have recovered from either a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 or from COVID-19 like symptoms. (Previous protocols advised precautionary self-isolation when testing was unavailable. We are now able to test all those showing any symptoms.)

"We continue to review the measures in place in the Royal Hospital in light of our own detailed analysis, of the clinical and scientific data available from outside and mindful of current and emerging government, NHS and Public Health England advice.

"We are determined to keep our population protected to the very best of our ability. Our staff continue to work tirelessly to care for and provide all the support needed for the Pensioners, many of them having volunteered to move in to the Royal Hospital to reduce the risk of further ingress of the virus from outside."

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