‘True’ coronavirus death toll passes 65,000, ONS statistics show – but death rate slows

First time deaths involving disease did not rise week on week in any age group

Samuel Osborne
Tuesday 23 June 2020 21:49 BST
UK coronavirus death toll rises by 15 to 42,647

The total number of excess deaths during the coronavirus outbreak in the UK has passed 65,000, although deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales either fell or stayed the same for the first week since the pandemic began, the Office for National Statistics said.

Figures from the office show 59,252 excess deaths in England and Wales between 21 March and 12 June, following figures released last week showing the equivalent numbers for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The National Records of Scotland found there were 4,877 excess deaths in Scotland between 16 March and 14 June, while the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency put the figure for Northern Ireland at 972 excess deaths between 28 March and 12 June.

Taken together it means the total number of excess deaths in the UK during this period now stands at 65,101.

It came as deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales fell in the week ending 12 June compared with the previous seven days in all but one age group.

No deaths were recorded in the 0-9 and 15-24 age groups for both weeks.

And zero deaths were recorded in ages 10-14, down from one in the previous week, and ages 30-34, down from three.

It is the first time deaths involving Covid-19 did not rise week on week in any age group since numbers started being recorded.

For the first time in three months, the number of weekly deaths fell below the five-year average in Wales.

There were 14 fewer deaths than what would usually be expected for the week ending 12 June, the ONS figures show.

Some 574 deaths were registered, of which 57 involved Covid-19, down 700 from the previous week.

It is the first time the figure for Wales has been below the average since the week ending 13 March.

The number of excess deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 12 June was 559 – the lowest number since the week ending 20 March.

The number of deaths in hospitals was below the five-year average for the second week in a row.

There were still excess deaths registered in both care homes and private homes during this week, although the number was down on the previous seven days.

Tuesday’s figures take the total number of deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK past 54,000.

The ONS said 48,866 deaths involving Covid-19 had occurred in England and Wales up to 12 June (and had been registered by 20 June).

Including figures published last week for Scotland and Northern Ireland, it means that, so far, 53,738 deaths have been registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, including suspected cases.

In addition, 351 hospital deaths between 13 June and 21 in England and Northern Ireland take the overall total to 54,089.

Of the deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales up to the week ending 12 June, the majority (63.6 per cent) occurred in hospital, with 30,868 deaths.

There have been 14,404 deaths in care homes, 2,205 in private homes, 660 in hospices, 219 in other communal establishments and 182 elsewhere.

Dr Jennifer Dixon, chief executive at the Health Foundation, said: “Today’s (ONS) data shows that deaths from Covid-19, and overall excess deaths, are decreasing.

“But while deaths in hospital are now below normal levels, deaths at home, just over 900 excess deaths in the week ending 12 June, remain higher than usual for this time of year.

‘At the same time, there has been a 30 per cent fall in emergency admissions to hospital in May compared to the previous year.

“People are avoiding hospital because they are nervous of catching Covid-19.”

She added: “As Covid-19 now recedes from hospitals, a key question is whether enough has been done to reassure people of their safety when accessing care, balanced against the risks of not seeking care.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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