Covid deaths in North West of England DOUBLE that of London in June

Coronavirus death rate in the North West of England was more than DOUBLE that of London in June as mapped data show the areas where the most people have died from the disease

  • One in 20 fatalities in capital last month were caused by Covid-19, down from a staggering one in two at peak
  • In North West, one in eight deaths were attributed to the virus last month, down from one in three in April
  • Nine of 10 hardest-hit areas are London boroughs, including Brent (216), Newham (1206) and Hackney (185) 

An interactive map which highlights coronavirus deaths by postcode in England and Wales reveals people in the North West were dying from coronavirus at more than double the rate of those in London in June. 

The map, which uses Office for National Statistics data, shows that one in 20 fatalities in the capital last month were caused by Covid-19, down from a staggering one in two at the height of the crisis in April.

But in the North West, where several Lancashire towns are being kept under review for potential local lockdowns amid rising cases, one in eight deaths were attributed to the virus in June, down from more than one in three at the peak.

Despite seemingly having shut out the virus, London has still suffered the highest Covid-19 death rate of any area in the UK due to how hard it was hit by the disease early on in the crisis. 

The capital recorded 141.8 Covid-19 deaths per 100,000 people between march and June, which is significantly higher than the 88 deaths per 100,000 average seen across England and Wales. 

The North West has been the second worst-hit area in the UK, recording 108.9 deaths per capita, closely followed by the North East (104.9) and West Midlands (100.2).

Nine of the 10 local areas with the highest virus death rates in the UK are London boroughs, with Brent suffering 216.6 deaths per 100,000 people, followed by Newham (201.6) and Haringey (185.1).   

Middlesbrough (178 deaths per 100,000), Hertsmere in Hertfordshire (166.7) and Salford, Manchester, (166.2) have suffered the three highest death rates outside of London as the epidemic continues to bombard the north.  

But all corners of the country have seen a decline in death rates since May, with fatalities plummeting by four-fifths thanks to the strict lockdown that was enforced on March 24. The greatest decrease in deaths was observed in London, where the mortality rate fell by 96.7 per cent. 

Despite seemingly having shut out the virus, London has still suffered the highest Covid-19 death rate of any area in the UK due to how hard it was hit by the disease early on in the crisis. The capital recorded 141.8 Covid-19 deaths per 100,000 people between march and June. The North West has been the second worst-hit area in the UK, recording 108.9 deaths per capita, closely followed by the North East (104.9) and West Midlands (100.2)

The most deprived areas in England had a mortality rate of of 139 Covid deaths per 100,000 people, more than twice as high as in the least deprived areas (63.4)

The figures, from the Office for National Statistics, are based on all deaths where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate and which had been registered by July 11.

They show the North West had the highest coronavirus mortality rate of all regions in England during June, with an estimated 9 deaths involving Covid-19 per 100,000 population across the month, down from 27.5 in May. 

The North East saw the biggest drop in virus deaths in the last month, tumbling from 33.5 deaths per 100,000 in May to just 7.2 per 100,000 in June. In London, the rate fell from 16.2 in May to 3.1 in June, having peaked at 94.7 in April.

Meanwhile the South West of England had the lowest Covid-19 mortality rate in June, recording little over two deaths per capita. It has recorded the lowest rate of any region in England during each of the last four months.  

The figures, from the Office for National Statistics, are based on all deaths where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate and which had been registered by July 11. 

Sarah Caul, head of mortality analysis at the Office for National Statistics, said: ‘Following the peak recorded in April, in June we have seen a large decrease in the proportion of deaths involving COVID-19 across all English regions and Wales. 

‘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 South West region continued to have the lowest proportion of COVID-19 deaths in June with about one in 30 deaths involving the coronavirus, while the North West had the highest where one in 8 deaths in June were COVID-19 related.’

A staggering one in two deaths in London were coronavirus-related at the height of the crisis in April, which has left the capital with the highest proportion of virus deaths since March

Chaos in shops and cafes as face masks become compulsory TODAY but customers ignore rules 

Shoppers across England were left confused today as senior police figures urged retailers to enforce the new laws forcing customers to wear face masks in all shops, stations, banks and post offices came into force.

Sainsbury’s, Asda, Co-Op and Costa Coffee are among the firms saying they would not police the coronavirus rules, which also require people to cover their faces in all transport hubs, shopping centres and petrol stations.

Even customers entering banks now must don a mask, but young children and people with medical conditions affected by a mask are exempt. Police are now urging shops to refuse entry to people not wearing face coverings.

John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: ‘I would urge retail outlets to play their part in making the rules crystal clear – if you are not wearing a face covering then you are not coming in. Officers will be there to help stores if needed – but only as a last resort, as we simply do not have the resources.’

Speaking about those who might have exemptions, Mr Apter added: ‘If you’re out shopping today and you see somebody not wearing a face covering it may be because they have a hidden disability. Don’t jump to conclusions, don’t have a go at them. This is new for us all, it’s about keeping each other safe. Please be nice!’

There were 50,574 deaths occurring in England and Wales between March 1 and June 30 and registered by July 11 that involved the coronavirus. This represented 23 per cent of all deaths occurring over this period (220,636). 

There were 88 deaths involving COVID-19 per 100,000 people in England and Wales during that time period – 88.7 per 100,000 people in England compared with 73.7 per 100,000 people in Wales. 

The most deprived areas in England had a mortality rate of of 139 Covid deaths per 100,000 people, more than twice as high as in the least deprived areas (63.4). There was a similar picture in Wales, where the rate in the poorest areas was 119.1 deaths per 100,000, nearly twice that of the wealthiest (63.5).

It comes after a study by a former Bank of England policymaker concluded that the spiralling cost of lockdown has not been worth the lives saved in stark economic terms, a leading economist has warned.

The damage to the economy is an astonishing £70billion greater than the value of the years of life saved, when applying an NHS formula.

The study by ex-Bank of England policymaker David Miles, with co-authors Mike Stedman and Adrian Heald, urges the Government to ditch blanket lockdown policies designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

They claim that the losses caused by continuing with strict restrictions on economic activity – such as social distancing restrictions which limit capacity in restaurants and pubs – outweigh the lives saved.

Lockdown measures should now be focused only on those people who are most at risk, the report adds. Even by the most conservative estimates, the study’s authors argue, lockdown has cost at least £200billion.

This is ignoring further losses caused by lower economic output in successive years, the disruption to education and vital non-Covid medical procedures being delayed. By contrast the ‘value’ of lives saved is a comparatively small £132billion, the study claims.

It calculates that 440,000 lives have been saved by lockdown and the average person who has died from Covid-19 would have lived for another ten years, according to life expectancies.

So lockdown saved 4.4million quality years of life – each valued at £30,000 by NHS guidelines – that the pandemic would otherwise have erased.

This means the value of the years of life saved is £132billion, according to the study.

But public sector debt is at nearly £2trillion, ballooning larger than the size of the economy in May for the first time in more than 50 years.

The authors will argue that although lockdown was effective in slowing the rate of infection and deaths from Covid-19, it is ‘very far from clear’ whether tight restrictions should have been kept in place until the end of June, given the economic cost. The study will be published next Wednesday by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

Meanwhile, shoppers across England were left confused today as senior police figures urged retailers to enforce the new laws forcing customers to wear face masks in all shops, stations, banks and post offices came into force.

Sainsbury’s, Asda, Co-Op and Costa Coffee are among the firms saying they would not police the coronavirus rules, which also require people to cover their faces in all transport hubs, shopping centres and petrol stations.

Even customers entering banks now must don a mask, but young children and people with medical conditions affected by a mask are exempt. Police are now urging shops to refuse entry to people not wearing face coverings.

John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: ‘I would urge retail outlets to play their part in making the rules crystal clear – if you are not wearing a face covering then you are not coming in. Officers will be there to help stores if needed – but only as a last resort, as we simply do not have the resources.’

Speaking about those who might have exemptions, Mr Apter added: ‘If you’re out shopping today and you see somebody not wearing a face covering it may be because they have a hidden disability. Don’t jump to conclusions, don’t have a go at them. This is new for us all, it’s about keeping each other safe. Please be nice!’

There was confusion within hours of the new rules coming into effect, with shopper Alan Gregg claiming he was at a Tesco store in Balby, South Yorkshire, at 6am for shopping this morning, ‘and the lady at the door said to me face masks are not compulsory in this store’. Tesco has been contacted for comment.

Another Twitter user told Costa Coffee that he was boycotting their stores, saying: ‘Due to your stance on face masks I will no longer be using your outlets despite being a customer for more years than I can remember.’

Failure to comply could result in a £100 spot fine, although police forces have indicated they will only respond as a ‘last resort’. Scotland Yard said it hopes shoppers who refuse to wear masks will be ‘shamed’ into compliance.

A mask can only be removed in a shop for a small number of reasons, such as allowing staff to check someone’s identity or age or to communicate with a deaf lip reader. Shop staff do not have to wear coverings but it is ‘strongly recommended’ that employers ask them to do so unless they have other precautions such as screens.

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