More than 500 have died from Covid in Blackpool in the two years since lockdown

Hundreds of people in Blackpool have died from coronavirus since the pandemic reached the UK around two years ago.

By Simon Drury
Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, 12:09 pm

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the first UK-wide lockdown on March 23.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that in Blackpool 579 deaths involving Covid-19 had been provisionally registered up to March 12 this year.

Of these, 428 were in hospitals and 97 in care homes, while 32 occurred in private homes and 18 in hospices.

More thn 570 people have died from Covid in Blackpool

There were also three deaths in another communal establishment, and one elsewhere.

It means deaths outside hospital settings accounted for 26 per cent of the overall toll.

The figures include deaths that occurred up to March 4 which were registered up to eight days later.

ONS data is based on where Covid-19 is mentioned anywhere on the death certificate.

The deadliest week of the pandemic so far came in the seven days to January 22 2021, when 24 people lost their lives in Blackpool.

The deaths in the area were among 25,145 registered across the North West up to March 12, and 159,419 across England.

Claire Collins, Marie Curie's bereavement coordinator, said coming together on March 23 for a national day of reflection is a way to "reflect on our collective losses in a mindful way".

She added: "There are still millions of people living with the deep trauma of losing a loved one during the last two years and we hope everyone finds comfort and embraces the day, whether you have had a close bereavement or not."

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A minute's silence will be held at noon today (Wednesday) to commemorate the day, and people are being encouraged to shine a light at 8pm or display flowers in their window to show support.

Separate figures from the UK coronavirus daily dashboard reveal the rate of deaths in Blackpool within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test – a different measure than that used by the ONS.

On March 16, the cumulative death rate – which covers the entire pandemic – stood at 417.7 deaths per 100,000 people in the area – compared to 251.1 across England.

The Health Foundation said there have been notably higher excess deaths in the UK over the pandemic compared to the rest of Europe, with some communities particularly hard hit.

Dr Jennifer Dixon, chief executive of the charity, said: "Working age adults in the poorest parts of the country were almost four times more likely to die from Covid-19 than those in the wealthiest areas.

"We owe it to those who lost their lives and their families to understand why, and how to build greater resilience against future threats to our health.

"This means sudden threats like Covid-19 as well as slow burn threats like increasing obesity and mental health conditions."

New data from the ONS shows that Great Britain's avoidable mortality rate in 2020 – the first year of the pandemic – was the highest since 2010.

These are typically deaths among people aged below 75 from causes that are considered avoidable given timely and effective healthcare, or public health interventions.