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Coronavirus cases in Spain have risen massively in the past week prompting the UK Government to remove Spain from the quarantine free list. While case rates in many countries are low, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) figures show the numbers testing positive in many of them are going up. But which cities across Europe have been the deadliest so far?
The latest two-week infection rate for coronavirus in Spain was 39.4 cases per 100,000 people, which is a rise of 260 percent.
By comparison, the infection rate is 14.7 cases per 100,000 people in the UK.
Across France and Germany rates of coronavirus have been rising and are most likely to be named as the next countries where quarantines will be mandatory for returning travellers.
Several other countries across Europe are also reimplementing lockdown measures such as in Belgium where outdoor gatherings are being limited to five people.
In new data published on Thursday, England was revealed to have suffered the highest number of excess deaths during the coronavirus pandemic out of any country in Europe.
Excess deaths are defined as the number of deaths registered in excess of the five-year average (2015 to 2019).
This essentially means those deaths which would likely have not occurred had it not been for the coronavirus pandemic.
The Office of National Statistics data also analysed data pertaining to relative age-standardised mortality rates (rASMRs)which are weekly measures of excess mortality.
The analysis by ONS found the top 10 local authority areas with the highest peaks of rASMRs all occurred in Italy and Spain.
Overall, Spain accounted for nine of the top 20 deadliest.
Whereas Italy was responsible for seven of the top 20 deadliest cities.
The remaining deadliest cities included four from the UK.
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The following regions are the 20 areas in Europe where coronavirus has proven most deadly according to the relative age-standardised mortality rate (RASMR):
- Bergamo, Italy: 847.7 percent
- Cremona, Italy : 617.7 percent
- Segovia, Spain: 600.6 percent
- Ciudad Real, Spain: 532.3 percent
- Brescia, Italy: 474.2 percent
- Piacenza, Italy: 459.4 percent
- Lodi, Italy: 449.4 percent
- Guadalajara, Spain: 447.6 percent
- Albacete, Spain: 445.2 percent
- Madrid, Spain: 432.7 percent
- Soria, Spain: 409.5 percent
- Brent (Greater London), UK: 357.5 percent
- Salamanca, Spain: 353.7 percent
- Enfield (Greater London), UK: 327.5 percent
- Parma, Italy: 321.8 percent
- Ealing (Greater London), UK: 318 percent
- Lecco, Italy: 306.6 percecnt
- Cuenca, Spain: 300.2 percent
- Thurrock (Essex), UK: 286.1 percent
- Barcelona, Spain: 285.9 percent.
The earliest abnormal increase in all-cause mortality associated with COVID-19 was in the city of Lodi in the Lombardy area of Northern Italy in the week ending February 28.
In the next week, ending March 6, two adjacent areas to Lodi, Bergamo and Cremona, recorded rASMRs rises in excess of 150 percent with several others in excess of 50 percent.
The following week saw rises across northern Italy and high values reported in Madrid and eastern France.
By week 13 ending March 27, substantial rises across Lombardy in Italy, central Spain and eastern France were recorded as well as areas bordering Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium.
Generally, this pattern continued with cases spreading across many areas in Europe.
However, throughout 2020, no significant deviations from the five-year average mortality rate have been observed in Iceland, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Lithuania, Czechia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Austria, Estonia, and Hungary.
Health analysis and life events ONS statistician Edward Morgan said: “Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the first half of 2020 saw extraordinary increases in mortality rates across countries in Western Europe above the 2015 to 2019 average.
“The highest peak excess mortality at national level was in Spain, with some local areas in Northern Italy and Central Spain having excess mortality levels as high as 847.7 percent of the average.
“While none of the four UK nations had a peak mortality level as high as Spain or the worst-hit local areas of Spain and Italy, excess mortality was geographically widespread throughout the UK during the pandemic, whereas it was more geographically localised in most countries of Western Europe.
“Combined with the relatively slow downward ‘tail’ of the pandemic in the UK, this meant that by the end of May, England had seen the highest overall relative excess mortality out of all the European countries compared.”
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