DEPRESSING figures show Bromsgrove has the SIXTH highest coronavirus death rate in the entire country - although the number of recent cases is not mirroring the nationwide upsurge.

Bromsgrove's Covid-19 death rate of 117.1 people per 100,000 population puts the district inside the top 10 fatality hotspots out of 347 local authorities across the United Kingdom.

The Advertiser reported back in May that the district was among the 20 areas with the highest death rate from the pandemic but the updated figures, six months after lockdown, portray an even worse impact.

Only five local authorities in the country have a higher death rate than Bromsgrove - Tameside in Manchester tops the list, ahead of Hertsmere in Hertfordshire, then Folkestone, Middlesbrough and Harrow.

Bromsgrove's Covid death rate is, sadly, the highest in the Midlands, ahead of Nuneaton and Bedworth (111.6), East Staffordshire (106.9), North Warwickshire (105.7) and Walsall (105.1).

The per 100,000 population method is used to compare areas with higher and lower numbers of residents - with the current figures giving a reflection of the impact of the first wave of the pandemic.

Nearby Birmingham has the highest number of total deaths from the virus, approaching 1,000 fatalities, and also the most confirmed cases, more than 9,500.

At the height of the outbreak, Bromsgrove suffered 24 Covid-related deaths two weeks running - but there have been only two deaths in the most recent 12 weeks on record.

Nationally, more than 41,000 have died with the virus and more than 400,000 have tested positive, with the number of cases increasing gradually during September.

That appeared to be the case in Bromsgrove too with eight cases recorded in the final week of August, a figure that more than tripled to 29 in the first week of September.

There were 32 positive tests in the district the following week but the most recent week on record - ending September 20 - saw that figure dip to 21.

These are the 10 lower tier local authorities with the highest rates of death, although not the highest totals of fatalities.

1. Tameside - 136.9 deaths per 100,000 people

2. Hertsmere - 131.5

3. Folkestone and Hythe - 123.9

4. Middlesbrough - 119.2

5. Harrow - 117.5

6. Bromsgrove - 117.1

7. Brent - 117.1

8. Epping Forest - 114.7

9. Nuneaton and Bedworth - 111.6

10. Ashford - 110.7