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The full text of Sajid Javid’s speech on health inequalities (see 2.51pm) is now on the Department of Health and Social Care’s website and it is worth a read.
Levelling up is normally described by ministers as about extending opportunity, not about extending equality. But Javid goes further and makes the case for addressing inequality (although, perhaps wary of sounding too leftwing, he talks about “disparity”, not inequality).
Passing the peak of the pandemic has been like a receding tide, revealing the underlying health of our nation. It’s revealed some fractures within. And in many cases, the pandemic has deepened those fractures.
Covid-19 admission rates for the most deprived in England were 2.9 times higher than the least deprived – and the mortality rate was 2.4 times higher.
The government has updated its UK Covid dashboard. There have been 26,911 new cases, and new cases over the past seven days are 22.4% down on the previous week. There have been 158 further deaths, and weekly deaths are up 4.7%.
The figures for cases do not include numbers from Scotland because of a technical issue.