Covid deaths fell by 7% last week with 952 victims, official figures show

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The number of people dying with Covid in England and Wales fell seven per cent last week, official data revealed today as flu deaths continue to rise

Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show coronavirus fatalities fell from 1,020 in the week ending November 5 — the highest level since March — to 952 in the week ending November 19.

Around one in 13 (7.9 per cent) of all deaths registered in during the week mentioned Covid on the death certificate, the ONS said. 

But the number of people dying where flu was the primary cause is continuing to increase, with 452 fatalities recorded during the week — up 8.4 per cent on the 392 recorded the week before.

Experts have warned that the NHS would face a double threat of Covid and flu this year because lockdowns have reduced adults’ normal levels of immunity to the latter, which now causes nearly half as many deaths as coronavirus.

Overall, the number of people dying in England and Wales increased 0.4 per cent during the week to 12,103, with 3,146 of those counting as extra of ‘excess’ deaths.

More than 78,000 excess deaths have taken place in private homes in England and Wales since the pandemic began, the ONS figures showed.

The figures come after Department of Health data yesterday revealed Britain’s Covid crisis was falling on all three fronts — cases, deaths and hospitalisations — with 

Despite the drop in infections, eight new cases of the Omicron variant were spotted in England yesterday, taking the UK’s total up to 22 and prompting No10 to announce a new booster vaccine programme that aims to dish out triple jabs to all adults by the end of January.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show coronavirus fatalities (blue bars) fell from 1,020 in the week ending November 5 — the highest level since March — to 952 in the week ending November 19

Nearly 80,000 more deaths occurred in people’s homes since the start of the pandemic, figures show 

Nearly 80,000 more people died in their homes since the start of pandemic, official data showing the toll of lockdowns has revealed.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show the number of people dying in England and Wales increased 0.4 per cent in the week ending November 19 to 12,103, with 3,146 of those counting as extra of ‘excess’ deaths.

Some 981 of those deaths occurred in private homes — 38.6 per cent above the five-year average for the week. It takes the total number of excess deaths since March last year up to 78,000.

The number of deaths at home in the England and Wales has steadily risen since 2005, with thousands more people choosing to die in the comfort of their home rather than a hospital bed. 

But the proportion leapt nearly 30 per cent in 2020 compared to the year before, as Britons were told to ‘stay home, protect the NHS , save lives’ when Covid struck.

Separate ONS data shows there were about 41,000 more at-home deaths from all reasons in 2020 compared to 2019, with the number of people dying at home peaking in May.

However, figures for 2021 going up to June, show there were nearly 25,000 more deaths at home than the five-year-average for this period, casting doubt over lockdown being the sole reason for the rise.

While Britain was still in its third lockdown at the start of 2021, the Government toned down its ‘stay home’ messaging and the NHS was told to continue treating non-Covid patients.

There has been serious debate over the merit of the lockdowns and if they did more harm than good for the nation’s health with it leading to people avoiding seeking medical help out of fear of the virus and disrupted tests and scans for illnesses such as cancer.

Experts have called for further and more detailed research to determine if people are choosing to die at home, or if they being left to suffer by a system unable to to provide them quality care of their final days.

The ONS data shows 92 care home resident deaths involving Covid were registered during the week, down from 101 in the previous week.

In total, 44,199 care home residents in England and Wales have had the disease recorded on their death certificate since the pandemic began. The figures cover deaths of care home residents in all settings, not just in care homes.

A total of 170,816 deaths have occurred in the UK where Covid was mentioned on the death certificate, the ONS said.

The highest number on a single day was 1,484 on January 19. During the first wave of the virus, the daily toll peaked at 1,461 on April 8 2020.

Figures also showed there was an estimated 688 homeless deaths in England and Wales registered in 2020, a decrease of 11.6 per cent from 2019 (778 estimated deaths).

Conservative MP and former housing secretary Robert Jenrick said: ‘I welcome the ONS statistics showing that deaths of those sleeping rough on our streets are at the lowest rate in three years.

‘Every death is a tragedy, and numbers dying of drug related causes shows us again that rough sleeping is a health issue as much as a housing one, and needs urgent attention by the NHS and Government.

‘These statistics show the steps that by the Government, like the everyone in programme I brought forward as the Secretary of State during the pandemic have saved many lives.

‘As we emerge from the pandemic, we need to make sure we do not lose sight on our manifesto pledge to end rough sleeping by the end of this parliament.

‘There is still much more that needs to be done. Homelessness is a moral stain on our society that we need to address, and it should be the goal of Government to continue progress in this area.’

Meanwhile, England and Wales’s increase in excess deaths last year took the nations’ total to nearly 80,000 extra fatalities recorded at home since the start of the pandemic.

The number of deaths at home in the England and Wales has steadily risen since 2005, with thousands more people choosing to die in the comfort of their home rather than a hospital bed. But the proportion leapt nearly 30 per cent in 2020 compared to the year before, as Britons were told to ‘stay home, protect the NHS , save lives’ when Covid struck.

Separate ONS data shows there were about 41,000 more at-home deaths from all reasons in 2020 compared to 2019, with the number of people dying at home peaking in May.

However, figures for 2021 going up to June, show there were nearly 25,000 more deaths at home than the five-year-average for this period, casting doubt over lockdown being the sole reason for the rise.

While Britain was still in its third lockdown at the start of 2021, the Government toned down its ‘stay home’ messaging and the NHS was told to continue treating non-Covid patients.

There has been serious debate over the merit of the lockdowns and if they did more harm than good for the nation’s health with it leading to people avoiding seeking medical help out of fear of the virus and disrupted tests and scans for illnesses such as cancer.

Experts have called for further and more detailed research to determine if people are choosing to die at home, or if they being left to suffer by a system unable to to provide them quality care of their final days.

A total of 688 homeless people died in 2020, official figures show 

A total of 688 deaths of homeless people were registered last year in England and Wales, including 13 deaths involving coronavirus, according to new estimates.

It is the first time the annual number of registered deaths has fallen since 2014, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

But it said the 11.6 per cent decrease from 2019 was not statistically significant.

The estimated number of deaths is also 42.7 per cent higher than it was in 2013, when the ONS started collecting this data.

The ONS also said the 2020 figures may underestimate the true number of homeless deaths.

It said the Everyone In scheme, which saw thousands of homeless people rapidly brought to safety at the start of the pandemic, had made it more difficult for it to identify homeless people in its records.

People were given emergency accommodation such as hotels to keep them safe and, with no centralised record of these locations, it ‘has made it difficult to identify deaths of homeless people housed under this scheme’, the ONS said.

The figures include the deaths of people sleeping rough or using emergency or temporary accommodation at or around the time of death.

The total figure includes identified deaths and an estimate of the most likely number of additional death registrations not identified as concerning homeless people.

Due to delays in death registrations, about half of the deaths registered in 2020 occurred before this year, the ONS said.

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