TODAY marks one year since the first coronavirus ward was set up at Bradford Royal Infirmary.

NHS colleagues gathered for a commemoration event as they remembered the patients who entered the doors of Ward 31 and sadly never left.

It had been set up 10 days after the first confirmed Covid-19 case in Bradford while data from Public Health England showed that the district was among 44 areas classed as having ‘one to four’ cases.

Just over two weeks later, Professor John Wright said the district could require 30 times more intensive care beds than it normally has to look after people suffering from coronavirus.

Prof Wright added: "One of the lessons from the hospitals in Wuhan was how much the virus contaminated the whole ward from furniture surfaces through to soap dispensers. So we need to start treating our Covid wards as red zones of infection and get all the staff acting accordingly.

“As well as expanding our ICU capacity, we’ve identified the first two Covid wards – ward seven and ward 31, but we’re also still dealing with the end of winter, dealing with acute medical patients who are being admitted with lung and heart disease."

No one knew just how much Covid-19 would change the course of 2020 with one reader writing on March 27, claiming the media was "scaremongering".

To date, 844 people have died from coronavirus in the district's hospitals while the national death toll stands at 84,935. 

Despite the grief and isolation, we found moments of joy in the following months.

Covid-19 survivor Colin Wood, 38, from Buttershaw, said he “owes so much” to the hospital staff who helped him win his battle against the deadly disease.

He faced a three-week stint in the hospital, adding that he was at “death’s door”, but pulled through and was just about kept off a ventilator. 

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

While senior nurse Ayesha Orlanda, 52, who had been in a coma for 40 days with coronavirus survived.

Hope has followed as the vaccine is rolled out and the number of Covid-19 patients in Bradford's hospitals drops by nearly 60 per cent in a month.

Today, a spokesperson for Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust said: "During a commemoration event, we remembered the patients who sadly lost their lives and paid tribute to the staff who have worked on the ward throughout the pandemic."

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: