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England and Wales record second highest weekly COVID deaths since pandemic began

Written by on 02/02/2021

There were more than 8,400 deaths linked to coronavirus in the third week of January – the second highest weekly number recorded during the pandemic, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Latest figures show that, in the week ending 22 January, there were a total of 18,676 deaths registered in England and Wales.

Of these, 8,422 mentioned COVID-19, which was an increase of 1,177 deaths compared with the week before and exceeded only by the week ending 24 April 2020.

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More than 90% of the deaths linked to coronavirus in the week to 22 January (7,592) had COVID-19 recorded as the underlying cause.

Deaths involving COVID-19 accounted for 45.1% of all deaths in England and Wales that week.

The ONS said this was the highest proportion of deaths involving coronavirus to have been recorded since the pandemic began last year.

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The figures also show there were 2,364 deaths of care home residents involving COVID-19 registered in England and Wales in the third week of January – the highest weekly total since the week to 1 May 2020.

A total of 33,215 care home residents in England and Wales have now had COVID-19 recorded on their death certificate, the ONS said.

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

It comes after the NHS announced that all care home residents in England had now received or been offered a coronavirus vaccine, as the government races to meet its target of vaccinating 15 million of the most vulnerable people across the UK by mid-February.

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Accounting for all fatalities, the third week of January saw all English regions experience a higher number of total registered deaths than the five-year average for the 11th week in a row.

In Wales, the total number of registered deaths in the week up to 22 January was 265 higher than the five-year average, although total deaths in Wales decreased by 93 from the previous week.

The week up to 22 January marked the third week of England’s third national lockdown, which was announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson on 4 January as he warned that COVID cases were rising rapidly in every part of the country due to the new variant.

At the time, Wales had already been under a “level 4” lockdown, with schools conducting online learning rather than face-to-face teaching.

 Sky News

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