Covid-19: Northamptonshire's grim death toll two years on from first national lockdown

Charity Marie Curie commemorates National Day of Reflection with minute's silence and call to shine a light for lives lost

By Patrick Jack, Data Reporter
Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, 7:13 am

More than 2,000 people in Northamptonshire died from coronavirus in two years since the pandemic reached the county in 2020.

Marie Curie is commemorating Wednesday (March 23) as National Day of Reflection, two years after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the first UK-wide lockdown.

The charity is urging people to come together to remember the lives of those lost to Covid-19 and support millions across the UK who are grieving as figures reveal the extent of the deadly toll in Northamptonshire.

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Charity Marie Curie is designating March 23 as a National Day of Reflection, two years on from the first Covid lockdown

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

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that deaths of 2,018 people in the county involving Covid-19 had been provisionally registered up to March 12, 1,066 in West Northamptonshire and 952 in the North.

Of these, 1,545 were in hospitals and 360 in care homes, while 84 occurred in private homes and 19 in hospices.

There were also five deaths in another communal establishment, and six elsewhere.

It means deaths outside hospital settings accounted for 23 percent 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 deaths in the area were among 14,492 registered across the East Midlands up to March 12, and 159,419 across England.

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Claire Collins, Marie Curie's bereavement coordinator, said coming together on March 23 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."

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. However, the latest avoidable mortality counts also include deaths due to Covid-19.

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