Greatest number of England and Wales coronavirus deaths among old, male and infirm - data

Deaths from the novel coronavirus in England and Wales in March were highest among the old, those with underlying health conditions and men, according to official data published on Thursday.

England and Wales have so far recorded more than 12,000 deaths in hospital from the coronavirus, but official data has shown the true death toll is far higher when deaths in the community, such as nursing homes, are included.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) analysis of all deaths registered so far in March found that 8% involved coronavirus, making it the third most frequent underlying cause of death after Dementia and Alzheimer disease and coronary heart disease.

Of the 3,912 deaths involving the coronavirus, it was determined to be the underlying cause of death in 86% of cases.

Just over 90% of those who died had at least one pre-existing health condition, with coronary heart disease the most common. The death rate among males from the coronavirus was double that of females, the ONS said.

The data also showed the rate of death increasing significantly in each age group from 55 upwards in males and 65 upwards in females. One in five deaths were in the 80 to 84 years age group, and there no deaths among those aged under 14.