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London was the hardest-hit area of the country for coronavirus as a result of the capital’s high levels of deprivation, figures showed today.

Nine of the top 10 boroughs with the highest death rates were in the capital. Brent was first, followed by Newham and Hackney.

This is according to an updated analysis from the Office for National Statistics that eliminates age as a factor.

It is known that people over 55 are at higher risk of death from Covid-19, with those 85 and older at the greatest risk.

Today’s figures, which relate to deaths between March 1 and May 31 that had been reported by June 6, reveal the role of socio-economic deprivation by using an “age-standardised mortality rate”.

Of the 46,687 deaths in England and Wales between the start of March and end of May that involved coronavirus, 8,188 were in London.

The capital was the region with the highest proportion of Covid deaths – 39.1 per cent of all 20,948 deaths across the city in that period.

London’s age-standardised mortality rate for Covid-19, of 137.6 deaths per 100,000 persons, was statistically significantly higher than any other region in England and more than a third higher than the region with the next highest rate.

The average across England and Wales was 81.2 deaths involving Covid-19 per 100,000 people.

But London also saw the biggest fall in deaths when the pandemic began to ease in April – the mortality rate fell by 83.3 per cent.

Brent had the highest overall age-standardised rate with 210.9 deaths per 100,000 population, followed by Newham (196.8 deaths per 100,000 population) and Hackney (182.9 deaths per 100,000 population).

Sarah Caul, head of mortality analysis at 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. The South West region continued to have the lowest mortality rate overall and during each of the last three months.

“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.”

Of the 33 London boroughs, 26 had a statistically significantly higher age-standardised mortality rate than the England and Wales average.