Coronavirus: Greater Manchester Police staff worker dies after diagnosis

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Image copyright GMP
Image caption It is believed to be the first coronavirus-related death within GMP

A member of police staff has died after contracting coronavirus.

The woman, who had worked in Greater Manchester Police's intelligence bureau for many years, died earlier this week, the region's deputy mayor for policing, Beverley Hughes, said.

It is believed to be the first coronavirus-related death within GMP.

The news came in a briefing by Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham following a meeting of the region's emergency response committee on Wednesday.

Image caption Mr Burnham announced that Metrolink travel would be free for all NHS and social care workers

The police staff worker had tested positive for Covid-19 and had other health issues that contributed to her death, Ms Hughes said.

'Free tram travel'

Ms Hughes also confirmed that GMP had brought its first charge for failure to comply with the Coronavirus Act 2020 after a woman held a house party on Saturday.

"The guests dispersed and then rocked up again and started to carry on the party," she said.

Samantha Dobbs, 31, of Pilling Street, Bury, will appear at Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court later.

Mr Burnham announced Metrolink travel would be free for all NHS and social care workers from Saturday.

"I want to ensure that we see health and social care as one system and give a small gesture of thank you," he said.

He also raised the "worrying" issue of drivers taking advantage of quieter roads during the lockdown by exceeding local speed limits.

Targeting hotspots

Although the number of vehicles on the roads had fallen significantly, the number of speeding motorists had doubled, with about four in 10 cars breaking the limit, he said.

Mr Burnham said police would be targeting hotspots in response to the rise.

He also said a regional effort to obtain personal protective equipment for health and social care staff had been successful.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Burnham said PPE remained "a difficult market"

Greater Manchester has secured more than six million items that have either already been delivered or are on the way, while obtaining only about half that amount from the national stockpile.

The number of daily hospital admissions have more than doubled since last week from 25 to 52 per day but the region's hospitals are running at 56% capacity.

There have been 2,267 confirmed cases and 279 deaths in hospitals, while 83 care homes have residents with coronavirus, he said.

Correction 9 April 2020: An earlier version of this story said the GMP employee worked as a police officer. The BBC has now been told that she worked in a civilian role.