Bucks has greatest number of Covid deaths in the South East since Freedom Day
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New data shows that Bucks had the greatest number of Covid deaths in its region since lockdown restrictions ended in July.
Overall, the South East region had the lowest number of deaths, while the North East has been worst hit since July 19.
July 19 was the date dubbed 'Freedom Day', as it represented an end to social distancing measures and was the day when nightclubs and festivals were allowed to reopen.
Wearing face-coverings indoors within public areas became optional rather than Government-enforced.
Between July 19 and September 26 the death rate for Bucks has been 4.6 deaths per 100,000 people.
This rate is measured based on deaths recorded by Public Health England when someone passes within 28 days of testing positive.
Across the county 25 deaths of this kind have been confirmed, it is the joint highest number in the region only matched in Brighton and Hove.
Despite having the greatest number of deaths in the South East, 41 council areas had a higher death rate than Bucks.
The county's Covid death rate is well below the national average, despite the virus claiming 25 lives during this time period.
The highest rate of deaths recorded in the region was in the Isle of Wight where the death rate was 12.6 deaths per 100,000 people.
There have been nearly 6,000 deaths across the nation, in the 71 days since Covid safety measures dramatically changed in England.
Latest government figures show there have been 5,892 deaths in England since the country reopened on July 19, a rate of 10.4 per 100,000 people.
The worst affected council area is Sunderland where the death rate is 2.7 times higher than England's average.
The North East has recorded the highest death rate in England since July 19, with 476 deaths as of September 25, or 17.8 per 100,000.
The South East in comparison has the lowest death rate in England, recording 569 deaths or a rate of 6.2 per 100,000 – almost three times lower. This is followed by London which has seen 666 deaths, a rate of 7.4.
The North West has recorded the greatest number of deaths overall. The region has seen 991 deaths since July 19, representing 17% of all deaths in England.
Worst-hit Sunderland has recorded 28.4 deaths per 100,000 people - 2.7 times higher than the England average. In total there have been 79 deaths.
Nearby Hartlepool has the second-worst rate, at 23.4 per 100,000.
IPPR research fellow, Dr Parth Patel said: “It isn’t right, and yet it is no surprise, that these figures show Covid-19 deaths have fallen disproportionately on the north of England.
“We know that differences in the conditions in which people live and work determine your risk of catching Covid-19. After over a decade of Westminster’s austerity that has disproportionately affected regions like the North, including by cutting their public health budgets.
“It couldn’t be more urgent as we enter what is going to be a very tough winter. Covid-19 will continue to affect northerners disproportionately if rhetoric to ‘level up’ is not urgently matched with bolder policy.”
A spokesperson for the UK Government said the new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities will help to level up health across the country.
The spokesperson said: “Any death is a tragedy and we know Covid-19 had a disproportionate impact on certain groups which is why Public Health England carried out a rapid review to better understand the relationship between this virus and factors like ethnicity, obesity and deprivation.
“The new Office for Health Improvement and Disparities will lead national efforts to improve and level up the health of the nation by tackling obesity, improving mental health and promoting physical activity.”