THE number of Covid-19 related deaths in Hampshire care homes have almost trebled in one week with more than 183 deaths reported over the last two weeks, it has been revealed.

There have been 49  Covid-19 related deaths in Hampshire private and council-run care homes between April 10 and April 17, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

As previously reported, figures published by ONS last week revealed that 17 people died in Hampshire care homes between January 1 and April 10, 2020.

New data released yesterday have also shown that the number of Covid-19 related deaths which occurred in Hampshire care homes and were notified to the Care and Quality Commission (CQC) between April 10 and April 24 is 183.

According to the figures, 18 deaths occurred in Southampton, 20 in Portsmouth and 145 across the rest of Hampshire.

The government said it is working with partners  to better understand the impact of the virus on people across the country.But the Independent Care Group (ICG) has warned that the real figures in care homes may be higher.

ICG chair, Mike Padgham said: “Due to the lag in collating these figures, we do fear that the true number of people who have died in care and nursing homes since the start of coronavirus may be higher than these figures suggest.”

He said care homes are now the “true front line” in the fight against coronavirus. “Care providers are seeing Covid-19 take a terrible toll,” he added.

The figures published by ONS revealed that Southampton is the area most affected with nine Covid-19 related deaths between January 1 and April 17, 2020.

The city is followed by Fareham, Havant and the New Forest with eight Covid-19 related deaths each during the same period of time.

Yesterday, a further17 people died in Hampshire hospitals. The UK’s coronavirus hospital death toll has climbed to 21,749. However, the daily total continues to fall.

Following the latest data a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “Our deepest sympathies go out to the families who have sadly lost relatives. We currently publish daily figures to reflect the number of deaths of patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 in hospital as accurately as possible and this is complemented by the ONS data, which covers all the people who have Covid-19 as a diagnosis on their death certificate in England and Wales, irrespective of the setting where they sadly died.’’

Hampshire County Council and Southampton City Council have been approached for comment.