Birmingham's heaviest-hit Covid wards at start of year revealed

Sparkbrook and Balsall Heath East has been hit harder by Covid than any other Birmingham ward since the turn of the year, data has shown.

A total number of 771 people tested positive for the virus in the ward between January 4 and January 17, though there has been a slight fall in cases over the last week.

The data was revealed in today’s Health and Social Care Overview & Scrutiny Committee, with the other top ten wards for case numbers in 2022 being:

  • Bournville and Cotteridge (528)

  • Allens Cross (351)

  • Castle Vale (368)

  • Billesley (681)

  • Brandwood and King’s Heath (613)

  • Acocks Green (704)

  • Yardley East (324)

  • King’s Norton (374)

  • Erdington (607)

Previously during the pandemic wards with the highest number of cases have often been some of the most deprived, or those with the highest number of health care workers.

However, speaking at the meeting, Birmingham’s Public Health Chief Dr Justin Varney said that the new Omicron variant seems to be acting differently.

“There is some variation across wards, and some of this is driven by outbreaks in children and younger cases,” he explained, with some wards having fewer than 20 per cent of under 15-year-old vaccinated.

“We’re not seeing a similar pattern to the one we saw in the earlier waves, where this was linked very much to deprivation, or people that worked in social care. That pattern doesn’t seem to exist with Omicron. And in many cases wards that have not previously been hit hard by Covid are being hit much harder with the Omicron wave than they were with the previous Delta and Alpha waves.

“The NHS continues to be under pressure from the Covid patients, who fortunately are not as sick as before because of vaccination, and are not ending up in intensive care.

“And it’s still true that the vast majority of patients in intensive care due to Covid are unvaccinated, or have incomplete vaccinations.”

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