Deaths in England were just 7% higher than usual in week ending Dec 18

Deaths in England and Wales were just 7 PER CENT higher than usual during week ending December 18, analysis reveals

  • England and Wales stand at 7 per cent higher than expected this year so far
  • 71,200 excess deaths recorded across UK, with 10,400 during the second wave
  • Analysis comes from Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ mortality monitor

Deaths in England and Wales were just 7 per cent higher than expected during the most recent full week of data, an analysis has revealed. 

Experts say there has been 71,200 excess deaths since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March, 10,400 of which have occurred since the second wave began.

The figures were produced by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’, which uses data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and its equivalents in Scotland (NRS) and Northern Ireland (NISRA).

ONS data shows there were 13,011 deaths in England and Wales during the week to December 18, a 12.7 per cent increase on the five-year average (11,548 deaths), and up 719 from the week before.

But the IFA, which has kept track of deaths throughout Britain’s Covid crisis, claims the gap is even lower. 

If Standardised Mortality Rates (SMRs), which control for changes in key demographics like age, are used instead, the death rate drops to 7 per cent for the week to December 18.

Deaths in England and Wales were just 7 per cent higher than expected during the most recent full week of data when taking into account changes for key demographics

Cobus Daneel, chair of the CMI Mortality Projections Committee said: ‘The CMI’s analysis of ONS data shows that there have been over 10,000 excess deaths in the second wave.

‘However, the corresponding figure for registered deaths with Covid mentioned on the death certificate is over 25,000. 

‘Death rates from other causes have been significantly lower than is typical at this time of year.’ 

Of the deaths, 2,986 mentioned on the death certificate, suggesting that without Covid the total could have been below average for a typical year.

Experts say this could be because a large number of vulnerable and elderly died during the first wave of the virus in the spring. 

Data also found hospital admissions plummeted by up to 90 per cent, suggesting the government’s ‘Stay at home, Protect the NHS’ may have been too effective, and people did not seek treatment for serious conditions which then led to death.

Official figures for Covid death rates have been found to be overwhelmingly higher in older people as well as those with pre-existing conditions. It has also significantly impacted people of a BAME ethnic background, who studies have shown are more likely to catch the virus.

It was revealed earlier this week that 388 people aged under 60 with no underlying health conditions have so far died of Covid-19 in England’s hospitals.

This comes from a total of 1,979 previously healthy people who died in the nation’s hospitals after testing positive for Covid-19 between April 2 and December 23.

338 of these were aged 40 to 59, with another 44 aged between 20 and 39, and just six under the age of 19, according to the data.

Meanwhile there have been 47,749 coronavirus patients who have died in hospitals in England. There has been 18,536 deaths involving Covid-19 in care homes, according to data up to December 24.

In the week to December 18, there were 2,986 deaths in England and Wales that mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, accounting for 22.9 per cent of all deaths and a rise of 230 on the week before.

The increase comes after two consecutive weeks in which coronavirus death numbers had fallen from a peak of 3,040.  

A separate ‘national infection’ survey released yesterday estimated 800,900 people had coronavirus in the week to December 3, meaning approximately one in 70 people had the virus.

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