Number of weekly deaths involving Covid-19 highest since June

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14:18pm, Tue 03 Nov 2020
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The number of weekly deaths involving coronavirus is at its highest since early June, new statistics show.

A total of 978 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending October 23 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

It is the highest number of deaths involving Covid-19 since the week ending June 12, and is up from 670 deaths in the week to October 16 – a jump of 46%.

North-west England had 325 deaths involving Covid-19 registered in the week ending October 23 – the highest number for the region since the week ending May 22, according to the ONS.

(PA Graphics) (PA Graphics)

In Yorkshire and the Humber, 159 Covid-19 deaths were registered in the week to October 23, which is the highest since the week to June 5.

In north-east England, 114 Covid-19 deaths were registered, the highest since the week to May 29.

Registered deaths involving Covid-19 increased week-on-week in every region of England in the week to October 23.

Just under 63,000 deaths involving Covid-19 have now occurred in the UK, the new figures show.

A total of 61,257 deaths have so far been registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, according to the latest reports from the UK’s statistics agencies.

This includes 55,796 deaths in England and Wales up to October 23 (and registered up to October 31), which were confirmed by the ONS on Tuesday.

Since these statistics were compiled, a further 1,428 deaths are known to have occurred in England, plus 67 in Scotland, 90 in Wales and 80 in Northern Ireland, according to additional data published on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.

Together, these totals mean that so far 62,922 deaths involving Covid-19 have taken place in the UK.

The ONS said that of the 978 deaths that involved Covid-19 in England and Wales in the week ending October 23, 874 had this recorded as the underlying cause of death (89.4%) and of the 1,719 deaths that involved influenza and pneumonia, 302 had the cause coded as its underlying cause (17.6%).

The number of deaths in hospitals was above the five-year average in the week ending October 23 with 14 more deaths, the first time since the week ending May 15 (614 more).

The numbers of deaths in private homes and care homes also were above the five-year average at 959 and 39 more deaths respectively.

In England, the total number of deaths increased from 9,833 in the week to October 16 to 10,070 in the week to October 23.

The ONS said the South West was the only English region to have fewer overall deaths compared with the five-year average.

Overall, there were 913 deaths involving Covid-19 in England in the week ending October 23.

In Wales, the number of deaths involving Covid-19 increased from 47 in the week ending October 16 to 65 in the week ending October 23, while the total number of deaths in that week was 33 higher than the five-year average.

Based on a statistical model that allows for the time taken for deaths to be registered, the ONS estimates that the number of deaths actually occurring in the week ending October 23 in England and Wales was between 9,750 and 12,097.

The number of deaths registered in the UK in the week ending October 23 2020 was 12,292, which was 1,222 deaths higher than the five-year average and 364 deaths more than the previous week.

Of the deaths registered in the UK in the week ending October 23, 1,126 deaths involved Covid-19, 365 deaths higher than the previous week.

Dr Layla McCay, director at the NHS Confederation, said the latest figures demonstrate “all too clearly the need to take immediate action to curb the spread of the virus and avoid even more loss of life”.

She added: “We hope the impending national lockdown in England will have the intended effect, but this is a blunt instrument for a complex problem.

“As well as dramatically reducing contacts between people to slow the spread of the virus, this month must also be used to make rapid and significant improvements to the test and trace system, including rapid turnaround of results and increasing the percentage of close contacts reached and asked to isolate to help enable the restrictions to be safely lifted.

“The news that city-wide testing is being piloted in Liverpool has provided a glimmer of hope for a way forward, especially as the city has suffered some of the highest numbers of deaths in England, and we hope it will help to limit the spread, with a view to being rolled out nationally.

“However, its success or failure will lie in supporting those who do test positive and their contacts, regardless of symptoms, to self-isolate for the necessary period to prevent spread of the virus.”

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