Figures show a huge rise in the number of people being treated for coronavirus at Great Western Hospital.

On October 20, there were 16 beds occupied by covid-19 patients at the Swindon hospital – up from just one two weeks earlier, according to NHS England figures.

It comes as Swindon’s coronavirus case rate continues to rise, with 221 people testing positive for the virus in the past week.

Last week, Swindon Borough Council director of public health Steve Maddern urged people against becoming complacent and follow rules around social distancing, wearing masks and hand washing.

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GWH's Shalbourne Ward, used as the 'front door' for coronavirus patients Picture: ADVER PHOTOGRAPHER

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He told reporters on Friday: “I think we’re at the foothills of a very challenging winter and I probably imagine that we’re all going to be swept up into further tiers at some point or another. When that happens is really down to how the government supports local levels to keep their rates low, but also the work local levels do as well.”