THE number of people in Ludlow that have contracted coronavirus and the level of deaths from the virus is so far less than had been feared.

But it is not over and there are fears as to what the autumn and winter might bring.

Dr Catherine Beanland, a GP at the Portcullis Surgery in Ludlow is reported as saying that she had feared that there could be 200 deaths in the town.

This is because of the high number of elderly people.

But up to now the number of deaths of people with Covid-19 is in the low double figures and some of those would have died with coronavirus and did not necessarily die because of the virus.

The low number of deaths is even more remarkable because Ludlow has a higher than average proportion of elderly people.

Coronavirus statistics show that age is a major factor in the risk of death with people over the age of 75 particularly at risk.

The other factors that increase the risk are being male and from a black minority ethnic heritage.

Those with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes. Being overweight is also a factor that increases the risk of someone who gets the virus becoming seriously ill or dying.

Dr Beanland has said that there is huge credit to people in the town who have pulled together during the pandemic.

This includes all NHS workers, people in care homes and those who work at Ludlow Hospital that has been treating Covid-19 cases.

Some Ludlow care workers have been living in at the care home where they work in order to protect and reduce the risk of residents catching the virus. So far there are no known cases of residents living in care homes in Ludlow becoming infected.

The town has also benefitted from the work of volunteers who have been involved in the 'Pulling Together Ludlow' community group.

Volunteers have been undertaking a range of tasks including collecting prescriptions, doing shopping and providing other practical support.

Another important part of the support that has been given is a befriending service in which people who are isolated get called.

A problem for groups like 'Pulling Together Ludlow' is that as lockdown eases and people return to work there are fewer volunteers.

The issues that need support will in future including people who have mental health problems as well as financial problems linked to the economic hit from the virus.