By Local Democracy Reporter
DEATHS in Epping Forest in one month were three times higher than normal at the height of the coronavirus outbreak, making the authority the most severely hit in Essex.
A total of 344 deaths were registered in Epping Forest in April, three times higher than the five-year average for the month of 116 registered deaths.
It meant that the number of excess deaths in Epping Forest last month was 197 per cent above levels usually expected.
But Thurrock followed closely behind with the number of excess deaths 185 per cent above levels usually expected.
Harlow, with a 148 per cent increase, and Basildon, with a 130 per cent increase, were also adversely affected during the month.
Uttlesford, with an increase of 122 per cent, was also badly hit. A total of 303 died in that authority – compared to the five-year average of 107.
All parts of Essex saw higher than average numbers of deaths, based on analysis of Office for National Statistics data.
The smallest increase was in Castle Point – 148 deaths were registered in April, 1.6 times the five-year average of 92.
The number of deaths in Chelmsford was 2.1 higher than normal, in Braintree it was 1.9 higher than normal and Colchester’s number of deaths was 1.6 times higher than normal.
Across Essex, 2,554 deaths were registered in April.
That is two times higher than the five-year average of 1,246 for that month.
Southend, Rochford and Tendring all recorded lower than average excess death rates.
However thousands of excess deaths recorded during the coronavirus crisis could be “collateral damage” caused by the indirect effects of the pandemic, Professor Sir David Spiegelhalter, chairman of the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at the University of Cambridge has said.
“This is extraordinary and when we look back on this whole episode, this rise in non-Covid extra deaths outside of hospital is something I hope that will be given severe attention,” he said last month.