Number of deaths falls below average for SECOND week in a row in England and Wales as experts claim Covid-19 outbreak has brought forward the deaths of thousands of elderly and vulnerable people

  • Government data shows 8,979 deaths from all causes were recorded across the week that ended June 26
  • This is 3.4% fewer than average, according to a report released today by the Office for National Statistics
  • Coronavirus is likely to have brought forward some deaths of older and vulnerable people, experts claimed

No excess deaths have been recorded in England and Wales for the second week in a row as the Covid-19 crisis continues to fizzle out for now.

Government statistics reveal 8,979 deaths from all causes were recorded across the seven-day spell that ended June 26 — 3.4 per cent fewer than average.

Coronavirus is likely to have brought forward some deaths of older and vulnerable people which could prompt a period of below-average deaths, statisticians said.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data also showed the number of Covid-19 deaths has dropped in every region of England and Wales except for the North East.  

More than 55,000 deaths involving Covid-19 have been recorded in the UK during the outbreak, with the virus the main reason for deaths increasing above what would normally be expected for this period.

The elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions have been hardest hit by the pandemic, which began to spiral out of control in February.

REGION 

North East

North West

Yorkshire 

East Midlands

West Midlands

East

London

South East

South West

Wales

COVID DEATHS 

32

120

69

89

69

59

35

85

16

30

LAST WEEK  

30

134

111

96

93

77

50

117

36

39

The ONS said: ‘The disease has had a larger impact on those most vulnerable (for example, those who already suffer from a medical condition) and those at older ages.

‘Some of these deaths would have likely occurred over the duration of the year but have occurred earlier because of the coronavirus.

‘These deaths occurring earlier than expected could mean we start to see a period of deaths below the five-year average.’

Tuesday’s ONS figures show there were 8,979 deaths from all causes in England and Wales registered in the week ending June 26 – 314 deaths fewer than the five year average.

It is the second consecutive week that weekly deaths have dropped below average for this time of year. During the peak of the outbreak, almost 12,000 more deaths were being recorded each week.

Before the week that ended June 19, the last time deaths were below average was before the lockdown in the week ending March 13.

The figures show that registered deaths involving coronavirus had dropped in all but one region in England and Wales in the week ending June 26.

In the North East — which covers Northumberland, Durham, Tyne and Wear and Cleveland — there were two more deaths registered compared with the previous week.

All regions except the North West, East Midlands and North East saw overall registered deaths below that which would usually be expected for this time of year.

For the sixth week running, the number of deaths involving Covid-19 was highest in the North West.

The East Midlands had the highest proportion of deaths involving Covid-19 – 11.1% of all deaths.

Overall in England and Wales, there were 606 deaths involving Covid-19 in the week up to June 26 – the lowest number since the week ending March 27.

There have been 50,219 deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales up to June 26 (and registered by July 4), with 31,761 in hospitals, 14,852 in care homes, 2,288 in private homes, 691 in hospices, 223 in other communal establishments and 185 elsewhere.

Deaths from all causes in all settings were below the five-year average for the week ending June 26, except for in private homes, where 745 deaths were registered.

It comes as separate ONS data released today suggested black and Asian Britons are up to four times more likely to have had already fought off the coronavirus.

A government-run Covid-19 surveillance scheme, which has tested 36,000 people across England, revealed 4.5 per cent of white people had developed antibodies — substances created by the immune system in response to specific pathogens.

In comparison, the rate was 12.2 per cent for Asian Brits, 7.7 per cent for black people and as high as 16.7 per cent for other ethnic groups, according to the ONS report.

Results of swab tests — which tell if someone is currently infected and not if they have had it in the past — showed a similar discrepancy between ethnicity, with between 0.64 and 0.69 per cent of black and Asian people ever testing positive for the coronavirus.

Just 0.30 per cent of white people swabbed between April 26 and June 27 tested positive for the disease, which has already killed 55,000 Brits since the outbreak spiralled out of control in February.

Results also showed that the risk was nine times higher (2.69 per cent) for people of other ethnic groups, which included Arabs.

The ONS report also revealed just 33 per cent of people had any of the tell-tale Covid-19 symptoms, a cough, fever or loss of taste and smell, on the day they received their test results.

Statisticians today warned the findings do not prove for certain that people of BAME backgrounds are at greater risk of being infected.

But they add to mountain of evidence that has found people of BAME backgrounds are more likely to catch Covid-19 and become seriously ill or die from it than white people.

Black, Asian and ethnic minority Britons are up to FOUR TIMES more likely to test positive for Covid-19 or have antibodies against the disease than white people, official data reveals 

Black and Asian Britons are up to four times more likely to have had already fought off the coronavirus, official data today suggested.

A government-run Covid-19 surveillance scheme, which has tested 36,000 people across England, revealed 4.5 per cent of white people had developed antibodies — substances created by the immune system in response to specific pathogens.

In comparison, the rate was 12.2 per cent for Asian Brits, 7.7 per cent for black people and as high as 16.7 per cent for other ethnic groups, according to the report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Results of swab tests — which tell if someone is currently infected and not if they have had it in the past — showed a similar discrepancy between ethnicity, with between 0.64 and 0.69 per cent of black and Asian people ever testing positive for the coronavirus.

Just 0.30 per cent of white people swabbed between April 26 and June 27 tested positive for the disease, which has already killed 55,000 Brits since the outbreak spiralled out of control in February. 

Results also showed that the risk was nine times higher (2.69 per cent) for people of other ethnic groups, which included Arabs.

The ONS report also revealed just 33 per cent of people had any of the tell-tale Covid-19 symptoms, a cough, fever or loss of taste and smell, on the day they received their test results.

Statisticians today warned the findings do not prove for certain that people of BAME backgrounds are at greater risk of being infected. 

But they add to mountain of evidence that has found people of BAME backgrounds are more likely to catch Covid-19 and become seriously ill or die from it than white people.

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