FAMILIES living in the most deprived areas of Southend are bearing the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic, new data has revealed.

Research by Southend Council’s public health team shows the death toll among those living in the most deprived areas - such as the Kursaal ward - is significantly higher than those living in more affluent areas like Leigh or Thorpe Bay.

Independent councillor Trevor Harp, who oversees health and social care, said: “Those living in the most deprived areas of Southend unfortunately have more chance of dying of coronavirus, than those in the least three deprived areas.

“Deprivation takes into account where you live, your level of poverty, overall personal health and access to healthcare, and this all has an impact on your survival rate should you catch Covid-19.”

According to figures published by the public health team, the most deprived sections of the borough have suffered a total of 85 deaths from Covid-19 while the least deprived have seen 62.

Labour councillor Matt Dent, who represents the Kursaal ward, said it was a “great concern” to see that residents in his ward and those at the bottom are suffering the most.

“I’ve heard some people call this the ‘great leveller’ but it is simply not true, you are more likely to die in a deprived area and you are more likely to die if you are Black, Asian, and minority ethnic,” he said.

“This just shows the great dangers of inequality in our society.

“When something like this rolls around, it is the people at the bottom who are most vulnerable.

“Under austerity we saw inequality explode in 10 years, while it pre-existed austerity it did make it worse.

“We are now facing a global pandemic and austerity has clearly put the entire country in a poorer position to fight it, as well as put those at the bottom at much greater risk.”