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West Midlands hotspot

(187 Posts)
middleager Sat 04-Apr-20 13:34:17

Can anybody help me to unpick reasons as to why the figures for Birmingham and the West Midlands are so high?

I live in Birmingham and understand it's the second largest city, but Manchester, the third largest city 'only' has 224 cases by comparison.

- the West Midlands accounts for 21 per cent of deaths

- Birmingham has 984 cases, the highest number of cases outside London

- The University hospitals Birmingham NHS foundation trust has recorded the third highest number of deaths of any trust in the country at 102 deaths.

Apart from the size, my theories include

1) Crufts (50 countries including Italy flying to Birmingham Airport)

2) Cheltenham - up the road from Birmingham. 20k visitors, many travelling via Birmingham New Street and Birmingham Airport?

3) Diamond Cruise - 150 infected passengers flown back to Birmingham Airport and not quarantined.

OP’s posts: |
Babyroobs Sat 04-Apr-20 13:41:15

Yes I think you are probably correct with your theories regarding Cheltenham etc. Wasn't there also a football match played against a European team a couple of weeks ago just before lock down? Are there many areas where people live in high rise flats or overcrowded conditions. I can see how it could spread by people living in close proximity all touching the same lift buttons/ stair rails etc ?

Unihorn Sat 04-Apr-20 13:45:37

Gwent has the highest number of cases in Wales and is almost on par with Birmingham. Some of the theories are it's proximity to London, in terms of the virus moving along the M4 through Wales as London started off with more cases than the rest of the country. Could be similar with Birmingham compared to Manchester, it could be moving further north I suppose.

middleager Sat 04-Apr-20 14:54:56

Good points.
Yes Babyroobs there was a lare football match in Wolverhampton I think.

Unihorn There was a massive Stereophonics gig in Cardiff wasn't there? Wondering if visitors then took it back to other parts of Wales?

OP’s posts: |
Wingedharpy Sat 04-Apr-20 15:15:26

Other thoughts : There is a large Asian population in both Birmingham and Wolverhampton, which also is within West Mids. Many of these households will have multi generational occupants - a bit like Italy, which potentially contributes to the figures.

middleager Sat 04-Apr-20 16:45:26

Yes Winged
My sons are at school with many friends who live with different generations in one household.

One of the first CV patients from the Diamond was from Wolverhampton. He was on honeymoon and quarantined before he came back, but they never mention his wife on the cruise.
There was an initial spike in Wolverhampton (and Dudley).

OP’s posts: |
blue25 Sat 04-Apr-20 16:48:10

Cultural reasons. Lots of multigenerational families. Lots of group worship still continuing.

VeganVeal Sat 04-Apr-20 17:03:40

I dont think Wolves attracts many fans

NotEverythingIsBlackandwhite Sat 04-Apr-20 17:06:50

Wasn't the spike in Wolverhampton attributed to a superspreader churchgoer (although the church wasn't named in the press)?

browzingss Sat 04-Apr-20 17:12:13

Agree with Birmingham having a high amount of Asian (or BAME in general) population. Unfortunately BAME people seem to be dying at a higher rate vs white people. One theory is that in particular older Asian people are disproportionately affected due to the multi generational households

BackforGood Sat 04-Apr-20 17:20:25

I hadn't seen that. Worrying (as I too live in Bham)

Carrotcakeforbreakfast Sat 04-Apr-20 17:21:10

I both live and work within the West Midlands

I believe it to be because of the large Asian community.
I'm told by a friend who lives near that within the asian communities lockdown is not being adhered to.
That and the multigenerational living that occurs.

Carrotcakeforbreakfast Sat 04-Apr-20 17:21:41

Also I agree with the PP that the wolves don't draw much of a crowd. grin

DGRossetti Sat 04-Apr-20 17:31:34

Could it just be plain old geography ? A lot of routes go through Birmingham - both North/South and East/West.

Also maybe the nature of the West Midlands conurbation is more akin to London than that of Manchester or Liverpool ?

middleager Sat 04-Apr-20 17:31:37

Thanks. Agree with all of the above.

My nearest hospital is Walsall. It's the hospital where one of the nurses died this week.

There have been 309 deaths in this town of 283,000.

Yet Warwickshire, an area double the size, has had 302 deaths.

And again, Manchester, a city of 2,730,000 has 220 deaths.

Overly invested as I'm currently ill on day 4 of 'something'

OP’s posts: |
campion Sat 04-Apr-20 17:34:31

Our MP was at a funeral in Sutton Coldfield the other day along with 100 other mourners! Did anyone try to stop this? Apparently not.
He issued a feeble 'apology' afterwards.

So maybe it's not so surprising that the West Midlands is a hot spot. I gather Walsall is particularly bad.

Babyroobs Sat 04-Apr-20 17:35:25

I live in an area where 50% of the population is of Asian origin so have a lot of contact with Asian families through my job role. A lot live in overcrowded accommodation,, often three generations of family or extended family in one household. I had contact with a family some weeks ago where elderly ( disabled) mother, son and two grandchildren were all in a 2 bed terraced home. Also I believe there is a higher incidence of diabetes and heart disease. Also a large number of muslim families have at least 4/5 kids and the men strictly go to the mosques every Friday so large numbers of people in one place.

GrimDamnFanjo Sat 04-Apr-20 17:38:14

Interesting if iirc the 1918 flu pandemic became so widespread because of churchgoers - sitting down close together etc so anyone who is still worshipping in person with others will be spreading the virus.

SellFridges Sat 04-Apr-20 17:39:47

This article goes somewhat to explain, but this is not unexpected as even this was published almost two weeks ago.

As well, the Manchester numbers are just that - for the City of Manchester. They do not include Salford. Manchester has a population half that of Birmingham (500k v 1 million).

DGRossetti Sat 04-Apr-20 17:42:56

Our MP was at a funeral in Sutton Coldfield the other day along with 100 other mourners! Did anyone try to stop this? Apparently not. He issued a feeble 'apology' afterwards.

Ah, but he wasn't "at" the funeral. He was observing it. As he was observing several others too. Apparently.

Gingernaut Sat 04-Apr-20 17:45:22

- Insistence on going to places of worship
- Overcrowded, multigenerational households
- Poor understanding of/compliance with restrictions
- Poor levels of health to begin with
- Chronic industrial respiratory diseases from heavy industry

Bridecilla Sat 04-Apr-20 17:50:09

This is worrying. My best friend lives in Brum. I'm assuming the mosques have closed?

onceuponatimeinsuburbia Sat 04-Apr-20 17:53:27

What @Gingernaut said - my family in & around CV6 postcodes are very uptight & say large parts of the community just doesn't seem to be taking it seriously or keeping to the social distancing rules. confused

Applejaxx Sat 04-Apr-20 17:54:52

I was under the impression that all places of worship has closed?

Im shocked there haven't been more cases in Liverpool/Merseyside after that Champions League game that happened only a few days before everything stopped.

campion Sat 04-Apr-20 18:31:07

Yes, quite @DGRossetti. That made all the difference. He obviously forgot he was a member of parliament -as well as,bizarrely,a city councillor - and couldn't attempt to intervene hmm

At least we know he's still alive, as his constituents were wondering why he never responds to anything.

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