Which areas of Suffolk have seen the highest number of coronavirus-related deaths?
PUBLISHED: 20:26 01 May 2020 | UPDATED: 12:10 03 May 2020
Figures have revealed the local authority areas of Suffolk with the highest amount of coronavirus deaths – and how they compare to other parts of the country.
According to the ONS, 241 people died in the county between March 1 and April 17 after contracting the virus. The figure covers those who have died in all settings, including hospitals.
The borough of Ipswich had the highest rate of coronavirus-related deaths per 100,000 at 33.4, with Suffolk Coastal (East Suffolk) and Waveney following behind at 19. Mid Suffolk recorded 17.5 deaths per 100,000 and Babergh 12.1
More urbanised areas recorded higher mortality rates for the virus nationwide, although Norwich – which has a population 80,000 higher than Ipswich – recorded just 2.5 deaths per 100,000, the lowest in England and Wales.
Nationally, Ipswich stood at 56 out of 112 towns and cities in terms of its death rate.
David Ellesmere, leader of Ipswich Borough Council, said the figures serve as a reminder for people to continue following government guidance on social distancing.
Mr Ellesmere said: “Obviously we have had a number of deaths in our town and every one of those is a tragedy for their families.
“Looking at other similar towns and cities, Ipswich could have seen a lower amount of deaths but at the same time, it could have even seen a higher number. Again, people need to follow government guidance to ensure we do not see more deaths.”
The data also revealed lower income areas of the country have seen a higher rate of coronavirus-related deaths, with the poorest parts of England recording 55 deaths per 100,000 compared to 25 in the wealthiest areas.
Mortality rates generally tend to be higher in lower income areas, although the ONS said coronavirus is appearing to further fuel the discrepancy.
To Mr Ellesmere however, the issue of deprivation has not rung true for Ipswich.
He said: “There have been questions regarding deprivation, but for Ipswich there is no particular rhyme or reason as to why some areas have seen more deaths. Westgate for example, which is an area which sadly does suffer from higher amounts of deprivation, has seen less deaths than St Margarets, which is typically a more well-off part of the town.”
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