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Coronavirus pushes up overall deaths in Norfolk and Waveney by almost a third

PUBLISHED: 13:03 07 June 2020 | UPDATED: 15:11 08 June 2020

The region's three hospitals have offered a snapshot of how coronavirus has impacted our communities. Picture: Archant

The region's three hospitals have offered a snapshot of how coronavirus has impacted our communities. Picture: Archant

Archant

Overall deaths in Norfolk and Waveney have risen by almost a third since coronavirus first hit the UK back in March.

According to statistics compiled by the ONS, between March 7 and May 15, 2020, 3,326 people across Norfolk and East Suffolk died in all contexts - care homes, hospitals, at home and elsewhere.

But, between 2015-2019, the average all-contexts death figure stood at just 2,519 for the same ten-week period.

This means the average increase in deaths is up 29pc on the previous five-year average, revealing the extent to which coronavirus has impacted the region’s communities.

Breaking the statistics down by district also reveals some local authorities have been disproportionately affected.

King’s Lynn and West Norfolk has seen the biggest increase - with deaths between March 7 and May 15 up 52pc on average figures.

East Suffolk has had a similarly large increase, with deaths in all contexts up 46pc on the average figures for 2015-2019.

Breckland, Great Yarmouth, Norwich, Broadland and South Norfolk all had increases between 20 and 29pc, with only North Norfolk falling below the 20pc mark.

North Norfolk’s figure is the lowest in the region at a 15pc increase in deaths over that first ten-week period when coronavirus struck.

King's Lynn has seen the biggest increase in deaths on the previous five years between March 7 and May 15 2020.  Picture: Ian BurtKing's Lynn has seen the biggest increase in deaths on the previous five years between March 7 and May 15 2020. Picture: Ian Burt

Throughout the region’s hospitals, we have one snapshot of the pressure on services caused by these excess deaths.

As of June 6, 381 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported at Norfolk’s main hospitals, of which 122 have been at the NNUH, 145 at the QEH in King’s Lynn, and 114 at Gorleston’s JPUH.

But, by the end of May, there were also 725 coronavirus patient discharges among those well enough to continue their recovery at home.

Norfolk County Council’s head of public health, Dr Louise Smith, said that although there had been a rise in the region’s infections as lockdown is eased, with the ‘R’ number moving closer to one, Norfolk’s rate is now in decline.

North Norfolk has seen the smallest regional increase in deaths on the previous five years between March 7 and May 15 2020.  Picture: Stuart AndersonNorth Norfolk has seen the smallest regional increase in deaths on the previous five years between March 7 and May 15 2020. Picture: Stuart Anderson

She said: “The number of infections are still dropping, they are only going to keep dropping if we keep to the rules, the guidelines and social distancing. The risk is much lower outdoors than indoors.

“It is a real opportunity now to get back to a more integrated social life and get back to a life close to normal, if we stay cautious.”

Louise Smith, director of public health in Norfolk. Picture: Ella WilkinsonLouise Smith, director of public health in Norfolk. Picture: Ella Wilkinson


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