Virus caused 20% rise in South Tyneside death rate

The death toll in South Tyneside during the last year of the coronavirus pandemic was hundreds higher than during previous years, new figures suggest.

Wednesday, 7th April 2021, 11:38 am
Coronavirus sparked a 20% rise in deaths

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 South Tyneside saw 2,052 deaths from any cause between March 21 last year – just days before the UK’s first lockdown – and March 19 this year.

That was 357 more than the 1,695 predicted based on the previous five years and means there were 21.1% more deaths than expected – slightly higher than the England average of 20%.

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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 475 deaths in South Tyneside 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.

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.”