Coronavirus deaths fall in North East - but much at a much slower rate than UK average

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The number of North East COVID-19 deaths fell by 14% in the week to May 8 - half the rate of fall in England as a whole.

The latest official data shows there were 271 fatalities linked to coronavirus in the region in the first full week of May, a fall of 14% on the previous week.

But across England and Wales as a whole the fall was more than double that, with the weekly toll of cases linked to the virus declining from 6,035 to 3,930 by the week ending May 8.

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The figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also showed the total number of deaths and those in which COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate fell for the third week in a row.

Picture by Ben Birchall/PA WirePicture by Ben Birchall/PA Wire
Picture by Ben Birchall/PA Wire

However, experts have also warned the May Bank Holiday, moved to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, may have had an impact on the data.

“It’s difficult to assess the impact of that this year,” said Prof Kevin McConway, Emeritus Professor of Applied Statistics at the Open University.

“The holiday was on a different day of the week than usual, and the impact on registration might well have been affected by the ongoing lockdown and also by the fact that it was a ‘special’ bank holiday to celebrate the anniversary of VE Day.”

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Studies have shown the North East and Yorkshire region had the highest rate of coronavirus infection in the country.

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