Covid-19 weekly deaths in England and Wales remain at low level

Covid-19 weekly deaths in England and Wales remain at low level
Any impact from the latest surge in cases will not be evident until January.

The number of deaths involving coronavirus registered each week in England and Wales dropped slightly ahead of Christmas, though it is too soon to see any impact in the figures of the current surge in Covid-19 cases.

A total of 755 deaths registered in the week ending December 17 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is down 1% on the previous week and is the lowest number of deaths since the week to October 15, when the total was 713.

(PA Graphics)

Deaths have remained at a low level throughout the latest wave of cases, with the weekly total between roughly 700 and 1,000 for the past few months.

By contrast, 8,433 deaths involving Covid-19 were registered in England and Wales in the week to January 29, at the peak of the second wave of the virus.

The rollout of coronavirus vaccines has played a major role in keeping the number of deaths across the UK at a relatively low level since the second wave.

It is too early to tell if the surge in cases caused by the Omicron variant is affecting the number of Covid-19 deaths, however.

Due to the typical length of time between infection, hospital admission and death – two to three weeks – the impact of the current record levels of cases will not be evident until January at the earliest.

(PA Graphics)

The latest ONS figures also show that 60 care home resident deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales were registered in the week to December 17, down slightly from 65 in the previous week.

In total, 44,466 care home residents in England and Wales have had Covid-19 recorded on their death certificate since the pandemic began.

The figures cover deaths of care home residents in all settings, not just in care homes.

Overall, 174,392 deaths have now occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, the ONS said.

The highest number on a single day was 1,485 on January 19 2021.

During the first wave of the virus, the daily toll peaked at 1,461 on April 8 2020.