Shropshire Council is being pressed to disclose the number of coronavirus deaths in the county’s care homes.

Currently only the number of deaths in hospitals are announced each day, in line with national guidelines.

But calls have been made for cases and deaths reported at residential homes to be disclosed to give a truer picture of the disease’s grip on the county.

Liberal Democrat councillors Ruth Houghton and Heather Kidd have asked for the figures to be given at Shropshire Council’s first remote Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, through the members’ questions procedure.

Councillor Kidd, who represents Chirbury and Worthen, has asked: “How many of the care homes across Shropshire have reported COVID-19 cases? A breakdown including dates and numbers per home would be helpful.

“I understand that naming homes and the geography may be more difficult but reported for north, central and south would be useful.”

Councillor Kidd said monitoring care homes with cases of the virus was vital to protect residents and staff.

She said:”I feel its very important that our residents are kept in a safe environment in Shropshire and that the public are aware of the fact that coronavirus is with us – most places.

“I am particularly keen to make sure that those with COVID-19 are not discharged from hospital directly back into care homes.

“Also placing new care home residents in home with the virus would not be advisable.

“Knowledge is a huge part of the fight against this pandemic. Giving an idea of what our care homes, their residents and their families are facing in Shropshire is an important part of the jigsaw.”

Councillor Houghton, who represents Bishop’s Castle, has asked for the total number of deaths at residential homes and nursing homes.

She has also requested a breakdown of the figures to indicate how many of those were among residents aged over 65 and how many were younger adults with learning difficulties, physical disabilities or mental health needs.

Councillor Houghton said: “I have asked these questions as I think it is important that our local citizens know and understand the true effect of COVID-19 and exactly just how many people have died in the county – and not just the hospital death numbers.

“It seems to me that people that have died in care homes have been forgotten about.

“Of course in a nursing home the NHS fund a contribution to the weekly fees so they should know just how many people have died in  a nursing home setting.

“In a residential home  the local authority will be funding some places so of course they should also know how many  people in these settings have died.

“Staff caring and supporting people in care settings at the end of life deserve the same recognition that staff in NHS settings are receiving. Crucially they also need adequate PPE too.

“I have asked by age as I believe people need to understand that it can affect everyone  not just older and vulnerable people in hospital.”

The questions will be answered at the Cabinet meeting.