The North East reported the highest coronavirus death rate in England in May.
Last month, the North East saw an estimated 33.1 deaths involving COVID-19 per 100,000 people, compared with 15.7 per 100,000 in London.
The capital had recorded the highest rate in both March and April, with 27.8 and 94.1 deaths per 100,000 respectively.
The South West had the lowest overall mortality rate across March, April and May.
Sarah Caul, head of mortality analysis at the ONS, said: “Although London had some of the highest COVID-19 mortality rates in the country during March and April, it is now experiencing lower mortality rates compared with most areas.
“During May, the region with the highest age-adjusted COVID-19 mortality rate was the North East, where the rate was double that of London.
“Meanwhile, people living in more deprived areas have continued to experience COVID-19 mortality rates more than double those living in less deprived areas.
“General mortality rates are normally higher in more deprived areas, but COVID-19 appears to be increasing this effect.”
Tory Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said: “It is important to note that the expert advice is that the North East is four to six weeks behind London when it comes to peak number of cases.
“As the ONS findings highlight, between March and May, London had the highest age-standardised mortality rate and was significantly higher than any other region in England.
“On the ground, the North East is now seeing the number of cases and deaths from coronavirus fall significantly.
“There has been a phenomenal national effort to win the battle against the coronavirus and we are winning. Deaths are coming down in the North East and I hope we see that trend continuing over the coming days and weeks.”
Between 1 March and 31 May, the areas with the highest deaths per 100,000 people were:
Tower Hamlets (164.1)
The news also follows the ONS’s announcement on Friday that it estimated an average of 33,000 people in England has COVID-19 at any point between 25 May and 7 June in a further sign the outbreak is declining.
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