Fifth of deaths in Barking and Dagenham linked to coronavirus, health board told

A fifth of deaths in Barking and Dagenham so far this year have been linked to Covid-19. Picture: Ke

A fifth of deaths in Barking and Dagenham so far this year have been linked to Covid-19. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

A fifth of all deaths in Barking and Dagenham this year have been linked to the coronavirus.

Of the 843 deaths – covering any cause – 166 involved confirmed or suspected Covid-19, a meeting of the town hall’s health and wellbeing board heard at a public meeting on Tuesday, July 28.

Out of the 23 care homes in Barking and Dagenham, 11 experienced coronavirus outbreaks. There were 21 Covid-19 related deaths.

Wassim Fattahi-Negro, principal performance manager, told board members: “April was the worst month for us. We had 386 cases.”

The seven day average of confirmed cases has stayed below two since June 30, although Mr Fattahi-Negro warned the data is provisional.

The borough has seen 734 confirmed cases of Covid-19 to date which is the lowest figure in north east London.

Neighbouring Newham has the highest (1,315) with Redbridge (1,153) and Waltham Forest (1,048) following.

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However, the rate of confirmed cases per 100,000 people as at July 27 sees Barking and Dagenham on 346.2 behind Havering (381.7), Redbridge (379.5), Waltham Forest (378.7) and Newham (373.6).

The average in London is 394.1 per 100,000. In England it is 461.8.

Director of public health Matthew Cole warned any figures are probably an underestimate, but the council is confident the impact is not as great as other boroughs where excess mortality is higher.

During the peak of the virus between March 31 and April 13, Whalebone, Eastbrook and River wards saw the highest number of confirmed cases, 24, 23 and 18 respectively.

From July 13 to 26, there were 20 confirmed cases in the borough with Whalebone, Abbey and Chadwell Heath recording the highest among wards on five, three and three respectively.

A total of 53pc or 392 people confirmed as having Covid-19 are female with 342 male.

The average age of residents diagnosed has dropped from 59 in March down to 36 in July.

“As the testing is expanding, perhaps this suggests why the age is coming down,” Mr Fattahi-Negro said.

A total of 46pc of patients admitted to hospital were white British followed by 18pc Asian and 11pc black African.

After standardising the mortality rate black African, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and other ethnic groups are more likely to have a high death rate.