The number of deaths involving coronavirus registered each week in England and Wales has dropped by 12% – the biggest week-on-week percentage fall in nearly four months.
A total of 783 deaths registered in the week ending October 1 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
This is down from 888 deaths registered in the previous week.
The drop of 12% is the largest week-on-week percentage decrease since a 14% fall in the week to June 11, when the number of deaths dropped from 98 to 84.
Since mid-June the number of deaths registered each week has followed a broadly upwards trend, reflecting the impact of the third wave of Covid-19.
The latest figures suggest this trend may have come to a halt.
It is too soon to know whether it is the start of a clear downwards path, however.
Deaths during the third wave of the virus have never reached the levels seen at the peak of the second wave.
Some 8,433 deaths involving Covid-19 were registered in England and Wales in the week to January 29.
The relatively low number of deaths in the third wave, when compared with the second wave, reflects the success of the rollout of coronavirus vaccines across the country.
Vaccinations in England are estimated to have prevented 127,500 deaths, according to the latest research by Cambridge University and the UK Health Security Agency.
There are still more people dying than normal for this time of the year, however.
The total number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week to October 1 was 12.1% above the pre-pandemic five-year average, the ONS said – the equivalent of 1,133 more deaths.
It is the 13th week in a row where the ONS has reported extra deaths, or “excess deaths”.
The number of excess deaths in private homes in England and Wales since the start of the pandemic now stands at 72,256, according to analysis by the PA news agency.
Of this number, just 8,577, or 12%, were deaths that involved Covid-19.