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Preston has the highest mortality rate for coronavirus in the country

Written by on June 12, 2020

Preston has recorded the worst mortality rate in England and Wales when it comes to coronavirus deaths – and was the only place in Lancashire to see in an increase in recent months.

The area managed by Preston City Council recorded a mortality rate of 51.1 per 100,000 people for May, according to new data released today (June 12) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It makes grim reading for the city, with nowhere in Lancashire coming close to the same mortality rate.

And it marks an increase for the city, having had a mortality rate of 46.1 per 100,000 in April.

In Lancashire, the second worst affected council area after Preston was Rossendale Borough Council, which had a mortality rate of 32.4 per 100,000.

But unlike Preston, this was an improvement from 45 per 100,000 in April.

The rest of Lancashire recorded lower mortality rates in May compared to April, leaving Preston as a worrying outlier in how the virus is being tackled.

This is the mortality rate per 100,000 people for every area in Lancashire for May compared to April, according to the ONS:

  • Preston: 51.1 (up from 46.1)
  • South Ribble: 24.2 (down from 40)
  • Chorley: 29.8 (down from 56.7)
  • Blackburn with Darwen: 23.9 (down from 55.3)
  • Rossendale: 32.4 (down from 45)
  • Hyndburn: 24.5 (down from 40.7)
  • Burnley: 19.6 (down from 45.3)
  • Pendle: 26.7 (down from 45.8)
  • Ribble Valley: 5.3 (down from 25.2)
  • Blackpool: 29.3 (down from 49.2)
  • Fylde: 24 (down from 38.7)
  • Wyre: 29.1 (down from 29.9)
  • Lancaster: 11.2 (down from 28.8)
  • West Lancashire: 19.4 (down from 62.8)

The mortality rate is a way of looking at deaths in relation to the size of a population, rather than just as a total number.

This helps understand how local areas are coping with issues such as Covid-19.

Nationally, coronavirus mortality rates more than halved in all but two regions in England and Wales between April and May.

After rising between March and April, age-standardised mortality rates fell by more than 50% in all regions except the North East and Yorkshire and The Humber, the ONS said.

The greatest decrease was in London, where the mortality rate fell by 83.3%.

Accounting for population structure, there were 81.9 deaths involving Covid-19 per 100,000 people in England and 67.6 per 100,000 in Wales between March 1 and May 31.

The North East, North West and Yorkshire and the Humber had the highest mortality rates in May, as London coronavirus deaths dropped.