SOMERSET has seen a total of 23 deaths of patients with Covid-19 in the past 48 hours.

The tragic loss of life means 343 people in the county council area have now died from any cause within 28 days of receiving a positive coronavirus test.

Of the latest deaths, nine were in Sedgemoor, seven in Somerset West and Taunton, five in Mendip and two in South Somerset.

The total of Covid-19 related deaths since the start of the pandemic now stands at 101 in South Somerset, with a rate of 60 deaths per 100,000 of population; 68 in SWT at a rate of 43.8 per 100,000; 89 in Sedgemoor at a rate of 72.3 per 100,000; and 85 in Mendip at a rate of 73.5 per 100,000.

Health experts predict there could well be more deaths over the coming weeks before the impact of the current lockdown takes effect.