The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported that 22,000 excess deaths have occurred in England and Wales since the beginning of July, with 56% of the total figure (roughly 12,000) being linked to Covid. However, in some parts of England, Covid has been held responsible for causing only one in five excess deaths, with the Head of Mortality Analysis at the ONS saying that “health service disruption” may have played a key role in bringing this about. The Telegraph has the story.
As few as one in five excess deaths in parts of England can be attributed to Covid, official figures show.
Since the start of July, 22,542 more deaths than usual for this time of year have been recorded across England and Wales.
Of these deaths just 12,551, about 56%, have been linked to coronavirus, according to the ONS.
However, this figure drops to 19% in West Berkshire, where just 17 of the 90 excess deaths listed Covid as an underlying cause.
Other areas, mainly in the South West and South East of England, have seen just one in three deaths above average linked to Covid, including Somerset, Torbay, Dorset and Herefordshire.
In previous waves, almost all excess deaths could broadly be explained by Covid.
Some 59,324 excess deaths were recorded between March 13th and June 20th last year. In 81% of these, Covid was an underlying cause.
And between September 4th and March 5th this year, there were more Covid deaths than excess deaths. This trend was due to lockdowns offsetting other illnesses common over the winter, including flu.
The reverse in this trend in this most recent wave comes as England and Wales saw its 87th consecutive week of excess deaths in the home.
Since the start of the pandemic, over 78,000 more people than usual have died in a private residence, contributing to more than half of the 125,494 excess deaths recorded across all settings.
Sarah Caul, head of mortality analysis at the ONS, says reasons for this may include “health service disruption” or “people staying at home rather than being admitted to other settings for end-of-life care”.
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