People In Most Deprived Areas Twice As Likely To Die Of Coronavirus Than The Most Wealthy

During May, the north-east of England had the highest Covid-19 death rate.
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The coronavirus mortality rate is more than twice as high in the most deprived areas of England compared to the wealthiest parts, new data from the Office for National Statistics has revealed.

According to the figures, there was an average of 128.3 deaths involving Covid-19 per 100,000 people in the poorest parts of the country between March 1 and May 31.

In the least deprived areas, there was an average of 58.8 deaths per 100,000 people.

In total, there were 46,687 deaths in England and Wales between March 1 and May 31 involving coronavirus, meaning Covid-19 was involved in a quarter of all deaths during this period.

The ONS data showed that the area with the highest overall Covid-19 mortality rate in England and Wales was the London borough of Brent, with a rate of 210.9 deaths per 100,000 people.

Brent was followed by four more London boroughs – Newham (196.8), Hackney (182.9), Harrow (178.0) and Haringey (177.9).

Outside London, the local authority area with the highest mortality rate across this period was Middlesbrough (169.2 deaths per 100,000), followed by Hertsmere (161.6), Salford (159.9), Watford (153.8) and Liverpool (144.5).

Sarah Caul, head of mortality analysis at the ONS, said that while general mortality rates tend to be higher in deprived areas, “Covid-19 appears to be increasing this fact”.

She added: “Although London had some of the highest Covid-19 mortality rates in the country during March and April, it is now experiencing lower mortality rates compared with most areas.

“During May, the region with the highest age-adjusted Covid-19 mortality rate was the north-east, where the rate was double that of London. The south-west region continued to have the lowest mortality rate overall and during each of the last three months.”

There were an estimated 33.1 deaths involving Covid-19 per 100,000 population in north-east England across May, compared with 15.7 per 100,000 in London.

David Innes, head of economics at charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said: “Before the pandemic hit there were signs that our record on tackling poverty and health inequalities was unravelling. Covid-19 has laid bare just how stark those inequalities are.

“It is completely unacceptable that someone’s life chances are so profoundly affected by where they live. Today’s statistics must act as a wake-up call – as a society with a strong sense of decency and compassion we can and must do better,” he said.

“The deep recession we are now entering is a necessary consequence of the steps taken to protect public health. The government’s furlough scheme has protected millions of jobs but it cannot be right that the poorest in our society are now bearing the brunt of the economic fallout from coronavirus too.

Innes added that it is “vital” the government takes further steps “to protect people from being pulled further into poverty as lockdown is lifted”.


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