Shocking toll of Covid-19 revealed as more people die in Wigan than almost anywhere else
Coronavirus has claimed more Wigan lives than almost anywhere else in the country, shocking new figures reveal.
Data from the Office for National Statistics place the borough ninth in England and Wales for the number of fatal cases in which Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate since the pandemic began in March last year.
Wigan health experts were asked why Wigan’s figure is so high compared to similar-sized areas, but they chose instead to assess the overall situation and point out what a positive difference the vaccination campaign has made.
Prof Kate Ardern, director of public health at Wigan Council, said: “This data highlights the real and tragic human impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and our thoughts remain with the loved ones of all those lost to this virus.
“The majority of Covid-19 deaths across our borough occurred last year during the first and second waves of the pandemic and before the vaccination programme was rolled out. Since then, we have seen a reduction in deaths caused by Covid-19 and almost three quarters (72 per cent) of all Wigan borough residents have now received at least their first jab which significantly reduces the risk of serious illness.
“I would encourage all residents not to become complacent to Covid-19.
“If you haven’t already received your vaccine, I would urge you to take this up, as well as continuing to wear a face mask where you can, keeping space when meeting indoors and washing your hands.”
The data does not take into account the difference in population sizes, and when looking at deaths from Covid per 100,000, Wigan has the 45th highest rate of the 326 local authorities in England and Wales. In the last seven days there has been a further 1,360 new cases of Covid-19 in the town, with a rate of 411.2 per 100,000.
Topping the list of deaths where Covid-19 is written on the death certificate is Birmingham, with 3,216 cumulative deaths.
The rest of the top five is made up from Leeds (1,842), County Durham (1,593), Liverpool (1,529) and Bradford (1,422).
Meanwhile, Sheffield (1,403), Sandwell (1,178) and Manchester (1,126) are the other places which sit above Wigan in the list.
This data follows a recent report by joint Parliamentary select committees, which found the response to the coronavirus pandemic to be one of the UK’s worst public health failures
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