No excess deaths in England and Wales for first time since before lockdown, ONS figures show

A member of hospital staff in PPE.
Hospital staff are seeing a decrease in the number of people dying. Credit: PA

No excess deaths were registered in England and Wales over a week for the first time since before the coronavirus lockdown was imposed, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The overall number of weekly registered deaths fell below the five-year average for the first time since the week ending March 13.

There were 65 fewer deaths registered in the week ending June 19 – 0.7% below the average number of deaths for this period over five years.

In both hospitals and care homes the number of deaths fell below the average, with 782 and 49 fewer deaths respectively.

Care homes have received criticism. Credit: PA

However, there were 827 excess deaths in people’s private homes.It is feared the high number of people dying at home is down to people not seeking medical attention out of fear of catching coronavirus or, alternatively, not wanting to put the health service under added pressure.Of the 9,339 deaths registered in the week ending June 19, 783 mentioned “novel coronavirus” – the lowest number of deaths involving Covid-19 for 12 weeks.

Coronavirus was, however, still the cause of 8.4% of deaths overall in the period.Overall, the number of excess deaths in the UK since the coronavirus outbreak began is just above 65,000, which is broadly unchanged from one week ago.

Tuesday’s figures from the ONS, which show 59,187 deaths above the five-year average in England and Wales between March 21 and June 19, follow figures last week showing the equivalent numbers for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The National Records of Scotland found there were 4,917 excess deaths in Scotland between March 16 and June 21, while the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency put the figure for Northern Ireland at 975 excess deaths between March 28 and June 19.

Together, this means the total number of excess deaths in the UK across this period stands at 65,079.

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