Revealed: The neighbourhoods with the highest coronavirus death rates
- Credit: Archant
Coronavirus death rates differ massively between neighbouring villages, showing the difficulty facing the Government as it looks to ease the lockdown.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that the area around Fleggburgh, Billockby and Martham had the highest percentage of deaths caused by coronavirus in Norfolk between the start of March and mid-April. Five of the 14 deaths (36pc) were attributed to Covid-19.
However, in neighbouring Hemsby just one of 23 deaths in that same period was down to coronavirus.
In nearby Caister and Ludham the death rates were also low, making it hard to come to any conclusions about why some areas are much worse affected than others, the chief executive of Healthwatch Norfolk said.
Alex Stewart said more investigations needed to be done to work out why there were pockets of deaths in places with similar demographics.
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“We need to learn from these statistics because coronavirus could be with us for the next couple of years,” Mr Stewart said.
Easing the lockdown in parts of the country with lower coronavirus deaths is one idea proposed by scientists, but the neighbourhood level data from the ONS shows that would be almost impossible.
Most neighbourhoods in Norwich have not recorded a single coronavirus death. But just outside the city in Rackheath, Thorpe End, Salhouse and Wroxham the death rate is 22pc - one of the highest in the county.
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Nationally, higher deaths have been linked to both obesity and poverty. The ONS numbers showed those living in the poorest parts of England and Wales died at twice the rate of those in the richest.
At the Government’s daily briefing on Friday, health secretary Matt Hancock said: “This is something we are worried about and looking at.”
In Norfolk and Waveney, one of the areas which ranks highest for deprivation, central and south King’s Lynn has the second highest death rate after Fleggburgh, at 33pc. The same is true of south Lowestoft, with a death rate of 27pc.
But the area’s poorest neighbourhoods in Great Yarmouth and Norwich have very low death rates, meaning it is not as simple as poverty equalling deaths.
The other neighbourhoods with death rates above 25pc were Rockland All Saints and Thompson, near Watton, Fritton and Burgh Castle near Yarmouth and Barsham and Mutford, south of Beccles.
High death rates have also been linked to age, but north Norfolk, which has the oldest population in the country, has among the lowest death rates in Norfolk, according to the ONS figures.
The other areas with the lowest death rates are Reepham, Aylsham and Dereham.
•Explore the map above to see how your area compares