Posted: Sat 18th Jul 2020

First review of Coronavirus deaths shows Covid spread to North Wales from Liverpool and Chester

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Jul 18th, 2020

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As the first wave of the Coronavirus pandemic in the UK subsides, the findings of a review of deaths in Wales associated with the virus has been published.

The ‘Examining deaths in Wales associated with Covid-19′ has been published this week and reviews death data from ONS, Welsh Government and other sources for the months between 1 March and 31 May 2020.

The report shows that the countries of the UK have suffered differently from coronavirus.

There were proportionally fewer deaths in Wales than in the UK as a whole during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic and fewer than most parts of England.

During 1 March and 31 May, coronavirus was a factor in 24.1% of all deaths in Wales.

The equivalent proportion of coronavirus related deaths in England was 42%.

In Wales, mortality rates from coronavirus were highest in the Cardiff and Vale Health Board area, with death rates highest among older people, people from BAME communities, and deprived communities. Men have consistently higher mortality rates across all ethnic groups.

The report says the pandemic ‘seemed’ to travel westwards and northwards across Wales from England, specifically the document states the virus moved into North Wales from Chester and Liverpool. 

The extra time had to prepare and lockdown could be one reason why there were proportionally fewer deaths.

“Analysis of excess deaths by week and by country or region shows a similar pattern in all regions but with small differences in the timeline and scale of the peak.

Excess deaths (that is levels of mortality above recent average for that time of year) were first seen in London and the South East a little earlier than the rest of the country.

Overall, by the end of April, the number of deaths in Wales was 25% higher than the 5 year average, lower than England (46%) and Scotland (37%).

London has the largest age standardised COVID-19 mortality rate across England and Wales.” the report states

The figure for Wales is similar to the East Midlands, East of England and South East, and otherwise higher only than the South West.

The report also highlights how the Test, Trace, Protect programme and sensitive early warning systems will play a key role in tackling potential further peaks within the community.

It also calls for continued focus on identifying and protecting the most vulnerable people in society.

The review notes, “It will not be possible to truly understand the impact of SAR-COV-2 on Wales and the wider UK for many years.” 

Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething said: “This is the first report of its kind here in Wales, which will help us better understand what factors including ethnicity, age and gender increased peoples risk to this terrible virus.

It is important to remember that the figures included in this report, represent people who have tragically lost their lives and my condolences are with their families.

“This review is the first step in learning why some areas within the UK were affected more than others.

This report and future analysis will be vital for future planning and will help us learn more about the coronavirus so we can save lives should there be further waves.”

You can view the Technical Advisory Group here:

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