The London borough of Hackney has the third-highest rate of Covid-19 related deaths in the country, with Tower Hamlets and Lewisham also seeing high rates, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) last week.
The age-standardised mortality rate showed 127.4 deaths per 100,000 population in Hackney – Newham, which had the highest, was at 144.3.
The rate in Tower Hamlets was 122.9 while the rate in Lewisham was 106.4 and 88 in Croydon. The lowest rate in the country was Norwich with 5 deaths per 100,000.
The figures have revealed how the virus is hitting the most deprived communities hardest, according to the ONS.
Nick Stripe, head of health analysis and life events at the ONS, said: “People living in more deprived areas have experienced Covid-19 mortality rates more than double those living in less deprived areas.”
There are currently 609 confirmed positive coronavirus cases in Hackney, and it has the highest mortality rate of the four boroughs.
The borough saw its first case at the beginning of March.
A Covid-19 mobile test centre is popping up in Dalston on May 1 and May 2 for all those who fit the eligibility criteria, including symptomatic people who are key workers, can’t do their work from home or the over 65s and members of their households. Testing will be done between 10:30am and 3:30pm on both days.
Hackney Council have released coronavirus advice and support to its residents, including remote job search support services, domestic abuse support services and helplines, and tips on how to improve your mental health.
Councillor Chris Kennedy, Cabinet Member for Health, Adult Social Care and Leisure said: “The Coronavirus pandemic can be scary and challenging, especially as normal life is halted, and this can affect our mental health. If you are experiencing stress, anxiety or other mental health conditions during this time, there is help out there. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or use this information to support your friends and family. It’s important to take care of yourself and do what you can to manage your wellbeing.”
927 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Lewisham and the mortality rate is 106 deaths per 100,000 people.
The first case of coronavirus in Lewisham was confirmed in February when a woman checked herself in at Lewisham hospital.
Numbers are still rising steadily.
Two members of staff in Lewisham have died. In a statement from Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust, Chief Executive Ben Travis said: “Sadly, I can confirm that Esther Akinsanya and Grace Kungwengwe, two members of staff, have passed away. Many colleagues will have worked with Esther and Grace, and our thoughts are with their families, loved ones and colleagues during this desperately sad time. We have set up a fundraising page to support the families of colleagues who have died: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/LGTInmemory.”
Akinsanya died on April 15 in intensive care at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and Kungwengwe died on April 19 in intensive care at University Hospital Lewisham.
Lewisham Council are encouraging people to help others in need, and Goldsmiths UCU have donated food to Lewisham Foodbank.
Tower Hamlets has seen 601 confirmed positive coronavirus cases so far and its mortality rate is 123 deaths per 100,000 people.
The borough’s first case was confirmed at the beginning of March, and numbers are still rising daily.
Tower Hamlets Council are encouraging residents to volunteer to help those who are elderly or more vulnerable through the Tower Hamlets Volunteer Centre. If you would like to register, you can sign up on their website.
Food and garden waste collections have resumed on Monday following a temporary suspension due to coronavirus-related staff shortages.
Croydon has 1,388 confirmed coronavirus cases, and numbers are rising steadily.
While it is the borough with the most cases, it doesn’t have the highest mortality rate with 88 deaths per 100,000 people.
Its first case was also confirmed at the beginning of March.
Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council, said in a statement: “So many have experienced tragic losses as a result of this health crisis and like everyone here at the council, I was much saddened this week by the death of a member of our staff, Asha Walrond.
“My condolences go out to Asha’s family, friends, and colleagues and to everyone in Croydon who has lost loved ones during this difficult time. I know I speak on behalf of everyone at the council when I say our thoughts are with you all. So I want to pay tribute this week to Asha, and to all of our staff for their service to our community. Many of them are still working every day on the frontline – our bin collectors, our social workers, welfare teams – but also, there are many more that you don’t see, playing vital roles to care for and keep our community going. Thank you again, for all that you do.”
As of last night, the United Kingdom has seen a total of 186,599 confirmed coronavirus cases, of which 28,446 have died.
In England, there have been 124,861 positive coronavirus cases so far, and there have been 25,528 deaths.
In London there are 24,828 confirmed cases.
The access to coronavirus testing has been expanded, and now anyone who has to leave home to go to work or is aged 65 and over will be able to get tested.
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock said:
“Expansion of our testing programme protects our most vulnerable and keeps people safe.
“Testing is now available to all over 65s and members of their households, if they have symptoms.
“Any worker who needs to leave their home in order to go to work, and their households, if any of them have symptoms can also get a test. This means construction workers to emergency plumbers, research scientists to those in manufacturing – can now be tested.
“All they need to do is go on the internet and apply for a test.”
The government is asking residents to stay at home and only go outside for food, health reasons or work, and to keep a distance of at least 6ft (2metres) to others at all times.