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Coronavirus death rate four times higher in large urban areas, analysis shows

By PA News

People living in larger urban areas were over four times more likely to die with Covid-19 than those in remote locations over the past four months, according to new analysis.

National Records of Scotland (NRS) figures show between March 1 and June 30, there were 116.8 age-standardised deaths involving Covid-19 per 100,000 people in large urban areas compared to 26.8 per 100,000 in remote rural locations.

The gap was substantially smaller when considering the rate of deaths from all causes, where it was 1.4 times higher in large urban areas than in remote rural areas.

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

People in the most deprived areas of the country were 2.1 times more likely to die with Covid than those living in the least deprived parts, the analysis found.

As of July 12, the overall coronavirus death toll for Scotland stood at 4,173, with 13 deaths in the week to Sunday – a decrease of five from the previous week.

This is the 11th weekly reduction in a row, and the lowest weekly total since mid-March.

It comes as lockdown restrictions continue to ease in phase three of the Scottish Government’s route map out of lockdown.

Barbers and hair salons can reopen from Wednesday with enhanced hygiene measures in place, as can indoor pubs and restaurants.

Hair salons and barbers across Scotland can now reopen (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Hair salons and barbers across Scotland can now reopen (Andrew Milligan/PA)

NRS figures show deaths involving Covid-19 accounted for 1% of all those registered between July 6 and July 12, down from a peak in week 17 when Covid-19 deaths accounted for 36% of all fatalities.

More than half (54%) of all Covid-19 deaths were in care homes in the week to July 12, up from 28% the previous week.

Just over a third (38%) were in hospital, down from 67% the week before, while 8% were at home or in non-institutional settings, up from 6% the previous week.

The NRS analysis also shows the highest number of deaths involving Covid-19 of working people aged 20-64 by occupation group were among process, plant and machine operatives, where the age-standardised death rate was 25.1 per 100,000 population.

Compared to the average death rate of deaths involving Covid-19 for all occupations, which was 10.2 per 100,000 population, health workers had a lower death rate (6.4) whilst social care workers had a higher rate (14.4).

Pubs can now reopen their indoor areas (PA)
Pubs can now reopen their indoor areas (PA)

The NRS figures are published weekly and account for all fatalities registered in Scotland when Covid-19 is mentioned on the death certificate.

They differ from the lab-confirmed coronavirus deaths announced daily by the Scottish Government using Health Protection Scotland (HPS) figures because they include suspected or probable cases of Covid-19.

Announcing the daily figures at the coronavirus briefing in Edinburgh, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said a total of 2,490 patients have died in Scotland under the HPS measure – with no new deaths in the last seven days.

Further relaxations on Wednesday include museums, galleries, monuments, cinemas and libraries being permitted to open again with precautions in place – for example, tickets being secured in advance.

Scotland’s tourism sector can also reopen, including all holiday accommodation, while the childcare sector can fully restart.

Places of worship can open their doors for communal prayer and contemplation, with physical distancing and numbers limited to 50.

Restrictions on attendance at weddings and funerals will be eased but numbers remain limited and physical distancing is required.

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