Virus caused hundreds more Northumberland deaths

Coronavirus sparked over 400 more deathsCoronavirus sparked over 400 more deaths
Coronavirus sparked over 400 more deaths
The death toll in Northumberland during the last year of the coronavirus pandemic was over 400 higher than during previous years, new figures suggest.

The Public Health England data compares the number of deaths registered during the last year with how many were predicted – based on previous mortality rates.

The figures show Northumberland saw 4,162 deaths from any cause between March 21 last year – just days before the UK’s first lockdown – and March 19 this year.

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That was 456 more than the 3,706 predicted based on the previous five years and means there were 12.3% more deaths than expected – lower than the England average of 20%.

So-called “excess deaths” are considered a better measure of the overall impact of Covid-19 than simply looking at mortality directly linked to the virus.

Over the same period, there were 788 deaths in the area with Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate.

Nationally, more than 100,000 excess deaths were recorded, while there were 129,000 with Covid-19 mentioned on the death certificate.

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Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director at Public Health England, said there were “complex and deep-rooted” reasons why certain areas have been hit harder by the pandemic than others, including age in the community, ethnicity, levels of deprivation, and what jobs people do.

She added: “These are all factors that can make people more vulnerable to Covid-19.

“However, we also know that by sticking to the rules, and having the vaccine when offered one, we can all do our part to help protect ourselves and those around us wherever we live.”