Weekly COVID deaths in England and Wales highest since April
Written by Hit Music Radio News on 27/07/2021
England and Wales have recorded the highest number of weekly coronavirus-related deaths since April, according to latest data.
There were 218 deaths with coronavirus mentioned on the death certificate in the week to 16 July, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
It is the third consecutive weekly rise and a 19% increase on the previous seven days.
It is also the highest since 260 COVID-related deaths were registered in the week to 23 April.
However, deaths are a fraction of what they were during the peak of the second wave of infections in the winter.
The figures come as one expert, SAGE member Professor Neil Ferguson, said the worst of the pandemic could be over by late September after daily cases fell for a sixth day in a row on Monday.
The area with the most COVID-related deaths was the North West, according to the ONS data.
It recorded 71 in the week ending 16 July – the highest since 106 in the week ending 26 March.
The second worst-affected region was the North East, which had 24 deaths – the highest since 35 deaths in the week up to 26 March.
Both areas have been regional hotspots for cases and hospital admissions during the third wave, which started in May.
Despite cases falling far quicker than most had predicted, Professor Ferguson said caution was still needed and that it would be “several more weeks” before the effect of the 19 July unlocking in England filters through to the statistics.
The professor, whose modelling led to the first lockdown in March 2020, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We need to remain cautious, especially with the potential increase in contact rates again as the weather becomes less fine and schools return.
“We’re not completely out of the woods, but the equation has fundamentally changed. The effect of vaccines is hugely reducing the risk of hospitalisations and death.
“And I’m positive that by late September or October time we will be looking back at most of the pandemic.
He added: “We will have COVID with us, we will still have people dying from COVID, but we’ll have put the bulk of the pandemic behind us.”
The latest ONS figures also show an increase in care home residents dying with COVID, but again the numbers remain very low compared with previous peaks.
Twenty-seven were registered up to 16 July, up from 20 the week before.
In total, 42,614 care home residents in England and Wales have had coronavirus recorded on their death certificate since the pandemic began.
The overall ONS count for COVID deaths in the UK is 154,661.
It is higher than the government’s 129,172 figure, which just counts deaths within 28 days of a positive test.
© Sky News 2020