Covid-19 deaths rise slightly as bank holiday slows registrations

Weekly registrations of deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales have risen slightly, new figures show – but the numbers are likely to have been affected by the early May bank holiday.

A total of 151 deaths registered in the week ending May 14 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is up from 129 in the previous week – a rise of 17%.

Many register offices will have been closed for the bank holiday on May 3, however.

This is likely to have led to fewer deaths being registered in that week and slightly more deaths being registered in the following week.

Differences between these two weeks should be interpreted with caution, the ONS said.

Deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales by age group
(PA Graphics)

Separate figures from the ONS based on when Covid-19 deaths occurred, rather than when they were registered, show that 108 deaths took place in England and Wales in the week to May 7.

This is down 99% from the second-wave peak of 8,984 deaths in the week to January 22.

Among people aged 80 and over, deaths fell from 5,376 to 55 during this period – again, a drop of 99%.

Deaths that occurred in the most recent week of reporting, the week to May 14, are still being registered and have been excluded from this analysis.

Across the UK as a whole, 153,093 deaths involving Covid-19 have now occurred since the start of the pandemic, the ONS said.

HEALTH Coronavirus Deaths
(PA graphic)

The highest number of deaths to occur on a single day was 1,477 on January 19.

During the first wave of the virus, the daily death toll peaked at 1,461 deaths on April 8 2020.

Using the end of August 2020 as a dividing line between the first and second wave of the virus, 57,866 deaths took place in the first wave, while 95,227 deaths have occurred so far in the second wave.