Around 10% of coronavirus-related deaths to April 3 were outside hospitals – ONS

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Around one in 10 coronavirus-related deaths registered up to April 3 in England and Wales took place outside hospitals, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Out of a total of 406 such deaths, 217 were registered in care homes, 33 in hospices, 136 in private homes, three in other communal establishments and 17 elsewhere.

Some 3,716 deaths occurred in hospitals.

Deaths involving Covid-19 in England
(PA Graphics)

Including deaths that occurred up to April 3 but were registered up to April 11, the number involving Covid-19 was 6,235.

Nick Stripe, head of health analysis and life events at the ONS, said: “The latest comparable data for deaths involving Covid-19 with a date of death up to 3 April show there were 6,235 deaths in England and Wales.

“When looking at data for England, this is 15% higher than the NHS numbers as they include all mentions of Covid-19 on the death certificate, including suspected Covid-19, as well as deaths in the community.

“The 16,387 deaths that were registered in England and Wales during the week ending 3 April is the highest weekly total since we started compiling weekly deaths data in 2005.”

Of the 16,387 deaths, around a fifth (21.2%) mentioned “novel coronavirus”.

The previous week, just 4.8% of all deaths registered had mentioned Covid-19.

HEALTH Coronavirus
(PA Graphics)

London accounted for around a third of all Covid-19-related deaths in England and Wales.

The ONS overall total for England – 5,979 deaths involving Covid-19 up to April 3 and registered up to April 11 – is 15% higher than the total reported by NHS England for the same period (5,186 deaths in hospitals).

This is because the ONS figures include all mentions of Covid-19 on a death certificate, including suspected Covid-19, as well as deaths in the community.

The NHS figures only include deaths in hospitals where a patient has been tested for Covid-19.

In the week ending April 3, there were no deaths registered in children aged 14 and under, the ONS said.

The highest number (1,231) and proportion of deaths (24.6% of the total) was in people aged between 75 and 84.

In each group, more men than women died.

HEALTH Coronavirus Deaths
(PA Graphics)

“We urgently need these figures on a daily basis to help deal with the emerging crisis in social care and ensure everything possible is being done to protect more than 400,000 elderly and disabled people who live in nursing and residential care homes.

Martin Hibberd, professor of Emerging Infectious Disease at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the figures “clearly show the impact of Covid-19 for the first time”.

He said: “As mentioned by (chief medical officer) Chris Whitty yesterday, this weekly number will become a very important number for evaluating the impact of Covid-19 and our response, as it essentially summates all the possible effects together.

“We know that for some situations, we may be overplaying the role of Covid-19, for example where Covid-19 was mentioned in a death but where it may have actually played only a minor role.

“Whereas in other situations, a death may not mention coronavirus, even though it may have contributed, possibly as a result of the indirect consequences of the lockdown and stretched healthcare services.

“This is the problem of getting the Covid-19 strategy balanced correctly to minimise these total figures and save as many lives as possible.

“We look forward to further analysis of these numbers and next week’s release of data to get a clear idea of the consequences of the Covid-19 outbreak.”

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