Coronavirus: Wales has ‘one of lowest’ Covid-19 mortality rates

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Narberth, Pembrokeshire is one of 14 communities in Wales which have registered no deaths from coronavirus

Wales has one of the lowest mortality rates for coronavirus during the pandemic so far, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The 75.7 deaths per 100,000 people up until the end of July is lower than England and all its regions, apart from the south west and south east.

London had the highest with 143.3. At a local level Cardiff has the highest mortality rate in Wales.

Figures also show 14 communities with no Covid-19 deaths registered at all.

By health board, Hywel Dda had the lowest mortality rate: 27.3 deaths per 100,000.

Cardiff and Vale had the highest mortality rate with 114.7.

Both Powys and Betsi Cadwaladr health boards were below the Welsh average.

At local authority level, Cardiff’s age standardised mortality rate for Covid-19 was 138.8 deaths per 100,000 in the five months until the end of July. This ranks 17th of 111 major cities and towns across Wales and England, with Salford at the top on 220.9.

Newport (125.4) ranks 40th and Swansea (83) is 77th.

The peak was highest in April in Cardiff with 87.3 deaths per 100,000, followed by Merthyr Tydfil (84.8), Rhondda Cynon Taff (83.9) and Newport (76).

Number of deaths involving Covid-19

Up to 31 July, at neighbourhood level

The ONS also provides neighbourhood figures – including an interactive map – so the pattern of deaths can be seen at very local levels.

Porth East and Pontypridd West in Rhondda Cynon Taff (29 and 28 deaths respectively) are the highest, followed by Canton in Cardiff.

Some of the figures may reflect local circumstances, like numbers of care homes.

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No deaths have been registered with coronavirus in New Quay in Ceredigion, according to the ONS

Where have there been no coronavirus deaths?

There were 14 neighbourhoods which did not have any deaths involving Covid-19 registered at all.

This reflects what we have been seeing – with far less of an impact in west Wales, and Ceredigion in particular only recording seven deaths, the second lowest total across Wales and England.

The communities with no Covid-19 deaths were:

  • Bangor City and Barmouth, Gwynedd
  • Rhyl South, Denbighshire
  • Abermule, Churchstoke & Kerry and Llandrindod Wells, Powys
  • Aberystwyth North, Beulah, Troed-yr-aur & Llandysul, Borth & Bont-goch, New Quay & Penbryn in Ceredigion
  • Narberth, Pembrokeshire
  • Carmarthen North and Carmarthen South & Llangynnwr, Tre-lech, Cenarth & Llangeler, Carmarthenshire
  • New Inn, Torfaen
  • Neighbourhoods here are defined as middle-layer super output areas (MSOA), data March to 31 July.

Deaths still noticeable in north Wales

The monthly figures also show how deaths have dramatically declined – apart from in north Wales.

In July, there was only one area in Wales with enough Covid-19 deaths to calculate an age-standardised mortality rate and that was Wrexham, with 15 deaths – a rate of 11.1 deaths per 100,000 population.

The 35 deaths from coronavirus in July in the Betsi Cadwaladr health board area means its overall death rate for the month (4.2 deaths per 100,000) is significantly higher than the Welsh average of 1.9.

What else do the figures tell us?

The figures also back up previous findings that the mortality rate involving Covid-19 in the most deprived areas in Wales (121.4 deaths per 100,000) was nearly twice as high as that in the least deprived areas (65.4).

They also compare the mortality rates from Covid-19 between men and women. This shows a rate of 95.9 deaths per 100,000 for men and 60.2 for women. Men make up 54% of coronavirus deaths in Wales.

There was a much wider gap between men and women in areas like Merthyr Tydfil and Blaenau Gwent, while in some areas including Swansea, Powys and Gwynedd, slightly more women have died than men.