Coronavirus: England’s poorest areas suffered more than twice as many deaths as richest, analysis shows

London hit hardest, with 141.8 deaths involving Covid-19 per 100,000 residents – 30 per cent higher than the northwest

Rob Merrick
Deputy Political Editor
Friday 24 July 2020 10:52 BST
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Coronavirus in numbers

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Louise Thomas

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The poorest areas of England have suffered more than twice as many deaths from coronavirus as the richest, a new analysis shows.

The mortality rate was 139.6 per 100,000 in England’s most deprived parts – compared with 63.4 deaths in the most prosperous, the Office for National Statistics found.

The pattern was similar in Wales, but slightly less marked, at 119.1 deaths per 100,000 people in the poorest areas, against 63.5 in the richest.

The figures also reveal that London has been hit by far the hardest, with 141.8 deaths involving Covid-19 per 100,000 residents – 30 per cent higher than the northwest – the next worst region.

Nine of the 10 local authorities with the highest death rates are in the capital, led by Brent (216.6 deaths per 100,000), Newham (201.6) and Haringey (185.1).

However, the statistics also laid bare the dramatic drop in infections and deaths since the peak of the pandemic at Easter, as the death rate fell by more than a half between April and June.

“In June, we have seen a large decrease in the proportion of deaths involving Covid-19 across all English regions and Wales,” said Sarah Caul, head of mortality analysis.

“London experienced the largest decrease over the period, from having more than 1 in 2 deaths in April which involved Covid-19 to only about 1 in 20 deaths in June that were related to the coronavirus.”

The statistics were released as Boris Johnson warned that coronavirus will haunt the UK until “the middle of next year” – one week after appearing to promise “normality by Christmas”.

The prime minister switched tack again, highlighting “tough times ahead in keeping this virus under control and tough times economically”.

“I think by the middle of next year, we will be well on the way passed it,” he said on a visit to a GP surgery in East London.

The prime minister was also asked to acknowledge any blunders he had made in his handling of the pandemic, but replied: “It would be invidious to single out any particular mistake.”

Just seven days ago, Mr Johnson had suggested social distancing rules could be relaxed further within a few months.

But he said: “I'm not going to make a prediction about when these various social distancing measures will come off.”

He also made clear he was not asking the public to “shame” people who are not wearing masks in places where the new regulations say they should be.

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