Four in 10 deaths registered in week ending January 15 involved Covid – ONS

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Coronavirus accounted for four in 10 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending January 15 – the highest proportion recorded during the pandemic, figures show.

There were 7,245 deaths registered where “novel coronavirus” was mentioned on the death certificate in England and Wales, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

This is a 19.6% rise from the previous week, when 6,057 deaths were registered.

It is also the third highest weekly number recorded during the pandemic and, at 40.2%, the week with the highest proportion of deaths involving Covid-19 recorded so far.

Deaths involving Covid-19 in England & Wales
(PA Graphics)

This is up 32.3% from 960 the previous week.

Overall, there were 1,719 deaths of care home residents involving coronavirus either at home, in hospital or another location, up 25.4% from the previous seven days.

Separate Care Quality Commission data shows it was notified of 2,314 deaths of care home residents in the week ending January 22.

This is a rise of 32% from the 1,752 notifications it received in the week ending January 15.

More than half (57.4%) of hospital deaths and a third (35.9%) of care home deaths registered in the latest week involved Covid-19, the figures show.

Care home resident deaths involving Covid-19 in England & Wale
(PA Graphics)

“The number of registered deaths from Covid of care home residents has increased by 25% since last week.

“The sector is again feeling the strain and, while the vaccine rollout for the most vulnerable is continuing at impressive speed, it will be a while until the benefits feed through to the figures.”

Prof Sheila Bird, from the MRC Biostatistics Unit, University of Cambridge, said: “It is too early to know if the peak of Covid-mention deaths in England and Wales has been reached in the week ending 15 January 2021 or if there is worse to come in the subsequent two weeks.”

It is also not certain whether the number of weekly registered deaths will exceed the pandemic’s previous highest weekly peak, but “we should be fearful”, she added.

The Independent Care Group, which represents providers in York and North Yorkshire, said the figures make “grim reading” and demonstrate the need to avoid complacency.

Cumulative Covid-19 deaths in the UK
(PA Graphics)

“But Covid-19 is not beaten yet and we must remain cautious and on our guard, observing all the guidance and keeping everyone in care settings – care and nursing homes and those receiving care in their own homes – as safe as we can, alongside those who are caring for them.

“The news that carers are going to be supplied with lateral flow tests they can do at home is another positive step and will hopefully have an impact and help protect carers who are selflessly looking after others.”

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