Death toll in England tops 44,000 from Covid-19 and the lockdown, expert says

More than 44,000 people have now died in England alone from Covid-19 or because of the lockdown, a statistical expert has said.

Statistician Nigel Marriott said data suggests that, on top of almost 33,000 deaths where Covid-19 has been registered on the death certificate, there were a further 11,000 deaths directly or indirectly linked to Covid-19 as of May 1.

He estimates that 44,000 people have now died as a result of Covid-19 or as a result of the lockdown across England.

He told the PA news agency: "In April, the 44,000 excess deaths over what we would normally expect for this time of year have been at record levels."

He said the 11,000 additional deaths may be from people who have actually died from coronavirus but this has not been recorded, or could be down to suicide in lockdown, unhealthy behaviours or people not seeking NHS help.

"We don't know the reason for the 11,000 additional deaths but a number of suggestions have been made," he said.

"This could be because of the lockdown, such as if people are getting depressed and committing suicide or they are drinking too much and reasons like that.

"It could be as a result of people not going to hospital with chest pain or stroke or other symptoms. The worry of course is that the campaign to protect the NHS may have been too successful.

"One possible contributor to this is that the people who would have rung their doctors or who would have gone to A&E and would have called an ambulance didn't do so."

Mr Marriott is using data from the NHS, Public Health England and the Office for National Statistics to make estimates for England.

On Tuesday, figures released by the NHS and the Office for National Statistics showed a total of 26,008 deaths involving Covid-19 had now been registered across the UK as of April 24.

Mr Marriott expects a further 7,000 registered deaths in the following week making 33,000 in total by May 1.