The devastating toll of COVID on Liverpool has been laid bare in an extensive report detailing how many lives the virus has claimed across the city.
In almost two years from March 2020, in which we have had to battle numerous lockdowns, businesses were forced to close and normality ground to a halt, the human cost has been stark.
The numbers make for even more desperate reading.
- Up to last month, more than 1,700 deaths have been attributed to coronavirus – 17.7% of all deaths in Liverpool in the last two years.
- Data recorded up to 15 February 2022 said 1,521 people died within 28 days of a positive test.
- Tragically, the number of expected deaths between March 2020 and January 2022 was 20% higher, with 1,630 recorded.
- Pre-pandemic between 2013 and 2018, there were just 770 excess deaths.
- In 2020-21, COVID proved to be the third most common cause of death across the city, after all cancers and circulatory diseases.
Public health report
The startling data compiled by Sophie Kelly, lead public health epidemiologist, will go before members of Liverpool Council’s social and health select committee on Tuesday.
The report, which has analysed mortality rates in all cases throughout the city, also found the average number of deaths per 100,000 people in Liverpool proved to be 1.5 times higher than the rest of England at 238.8 per 100,000.
Of the eight core English cities, Liverpool had the second highest mortality rate after Manchester and the highest rate for females.
It surpassed the number of deaths recorded in London, which according to the report “was initially one of the worst affected regions in England.”
Ms Kelly’s document identified that during summer 2020, levels of excess deaths were at a “relative low” but as increased cases of COVID took hold in the winter, high numbers of mortalities began.
COVID impact on social and ethnic groups
When considering the impact on ethnic minority groups, just 6.2% deaths are said to have occurred in ethnic communities since the start of the pandemic.
Ms Kelly said: “This is most likely because the risk of dying from COVID-19 increases with age and older people in Liverpool are more likely to be white British.”
By comparison, analysis by the Office for National Statistics found that across England, those of ethnic minority background were more at risk from a COVID related death.
A sad trend identified in the report to councillors was the link between deprivation and dying with COVID during 2020, with those in deprived areas more likely to die from coronavirus.
Pictures showed how hospitals bore the brunt of the pandemic and four in every five deaths were recorded at one of the city’s medical centres.
Care homes across Liverpool were also impacted, with 14% of deaths recorded as an overall average, but that figure rose to a high of 20% during 2020.
The impact on care homes in the city was brutally depicted in the Channel 4 drama, Help, starring Stephen Graham and Jodie Comer.
On Tuesday, committee members will hear these facts and figures in the Town Hall, but it must not be forgotten that each one of those 1,702 deaths were mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters from Liverpool, and the impact of COVID will cast a shadow over the city for years to come.