The number of weekly registered deaths involving coronavirus in England and Wales has exceeded a thousand for the first time since June, new figures show.
There were 1,379 deaths mentioning ‘novel coronavirus’ registered in the week ending October 30, accounting for 12.7% of all deaths in England and Wales, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
This is the eighth consecutive weekly rise, up 401 deaths (41%) from the previous week, which saw 978 Covid-19 deaths registered.
It is the first time that the weekly figure has been above 1,000 since the week ending June 12, and it is the highest number since the week ending June 5, when 1,588 Covid-19 deaths were registered.
For the second week in a row, deaths in hospitals were above the five-year average, with 244 excess deaths.
Some 81.7% of the deaths involving Covid-19 registered in the week ending October 30 occurred in hospitals, the ONS said.
On October 29, 189 deaths occurred in hospitals, the highest number by day since May 18.
Nuffield Trust deputy director of research, Sarah Scobie, said another “bleak milestone” had been reached, adding: “Clearly we are now seeing the fallout from the looser social distancing restrictions over the summer beginning to play out.
“For the second week in a row the number of deaths recorded in hospitals is above the five-year average. It is likely we’ll see this trend continue for further weeks in some regions as hospitals take in patients as a result of the second spike in infections.
“It remains still too early to see the impact on deaths of both the tiered system and national lockdown measures for England.”
Layla McCay, director at the NHS Confederation, added: “While it is not uncommon for deaths to rise around this time of year, these figures show a significant increase beyond what would be expected, and most of these additional deaths are related to Covid-19. This demonstrates the heavy toll the pandemic continues to take.”
Dr Stephen Griffin, associate professor at the University of Leeds, said: “Whilst the number of deaths we are seeing is not as marked as that seen in early April, this likely reflects improvement in critical care pathways, the use of dexamethasone and the improved protection afforded to those most vulnerable in society as a result of the lessons learned from spring.
“Some might evoke the lower death rate compared to spring as a means to criticise the implementation of a national lockdown in England and other measures across the UK. However, this is woefully misguided.”
Deaths in private homes remained above the five-year average (871 more deaths), with more than 30,000 excess deaths taking place since the start of the pandemic.
There were 104 fewer deaths in care homes compared to the average over five years for this period.
Registered deaths involving Covid-19 increased week-on-week in every region of England in the week to October 30.
North-west England had 445 deaths involving Covid-19 registered in the week ending October 30 – the highest number for the region since the week ending May 15, according to the ONS.
It was the region with the largest number and highest proportion of deaths involving coronavirus (25.4%), and saw the largest weekly increase (120 more deaths).
In Yorkshire and the Humber, 204 Covid-19 deaths were registered in the week to October 30 – the highest since the week to June 5.
In north-east England, 118 Covid-19 deaths were registered – the highest since the week to May 29.
London was the only English region to have fewer overall deaths than the five-year average.
So far this year, 65,231 deaths involving Covid-19 have taken place in the UK.
This includes 57,408 deaths in England and Wales up to October 30 (and registered up to November 7), which were confirmed by the ONS on Tuesday.
In England and Wales there have been 36,597 Covid-19 deaths in hospitals, 16,140 in care homes, 2,723 in private homes, 787 in hospices, 236 in other communal establishments and 215 elsewhere.
There were 31,684 excess deaths in homes registered between March 7 and October 30, of which 2,676 – 8% – involved Covid-19.
Any death involving Covid-19 is counted as an excess death because Covid-19 did not exist before this year.
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