Northern Ireland news

'Affluent' areas of NI have more Covid-19 cases says Robin Swann

Stormont health minister Robin Swann at the assembly health committee
Brendan Hughes

AFFLUENT areas of Northern Ireland have more coronavirus cases than deprived neighbourhoods, Stormont's health minister has said.

Robin Swann said research by the Public Health Agency (PHA) suggested a "small increase" when compared to less well-off areas.

The reverse has been found in Britain, with people in more deprived areas disproportionately affected by coronavirus.

Mr Swann told the assembly's health committee: "The Public Health Agency has done a bit of research into our own prevalence of cases here in Northern Ireland and they published that last week.

"One of the indicators I would like to bring out is in regards to deprivation category.

"I think what was actually saw across the rest of GB [Great Britain] was a high prevalence in the more deprived areas.

"Actually what we're seeing in Northern Ireland would be a prevalence towards the least deprived areas.

"So the more affluent areas of Northern Ireland are seemed to have a small increase compared to other areas in regards to those positive cases."

Earlier this week a report by Public Health England found that people living in deprived areas were at greater risk of dying with coronavirus. It also found a greater risk of death from Covid-19 for ethnic minorities.

The report showed that age remains the biggest risk factor, with the elderly accounting for the majority of coronavirus-related deaths.

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