Covid was the THIRD leading cause of death in England in September – and only heart disease and dementia killed more, official data shows
- Office for National Statistic (ONS) figures show coronavirus was behind 2,955 deaths in England last month
- Virus made up 6.6 per cent of all deaths during the month, a higher proportion than last month (5.3 per cent)
- Overall, 44,474 people died in the country — 7,215 deaths (17.4 per cent) more than the five-year-average
Covid was the third leading cause of death in England last month — with only heart disease and dementia killing more people, official data revealed today.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures revealed the coronavirus was behind 2,955 deaths across the country in September — nearly 100 per day.
The virus made up 6.6 per cent of all deaths during the month, a higher proportion than for August (5.3 per cent) when it was also the third biggest cause of death. Only dementia (4,976 deaths) and heart disease (4,424) killed more people during September.
Overall, 44,474 people died in the country — 7,215 deaths (17.4 per cent) more than the five-year-average for the month.
It comes as fears grow around the sluggish booster vaccine roll-out, with concerns an impending fourth wave will force ministers to bring back face masks and working from home.
Daily infections breached 50,000 for the first time in three months yesterday as Boris Johnson issued a desperate plea for more Britons to come forward for their boosters to ‘fortify’ people’s defences against the virus.
Covid was the third leading cause of death in England last month with only heart disease and dementia killing more people, official data today revealed
Only dementia (4,976 deaths) and heart disease (4,424) killed more people during September. Graph shows: The age standardised mortality rate per 100,000 for different causes of death in September
The mortality rate due to Covid increased between August and September. The above graph shows the Covid mortality rate for England (dark blue bar) and Wales (light blue bar)
Overall, 44,474 people died in the country — 7,215 deaths (17.4 per cent) more than the five-year-average for the month. Graph shows: The mortality rate in each September since 2001
School closes early for half term after rise in Covid cases
A secondary school closed two days early for half term following rising Covid cases amongst pupils and staff.
Admiral Lord Nelson School, in Portsmouth, Hampshire, closed its doors on Thursday after 161 students were isolating along with 17 staff absent, mostly because of Covid.
A statement on the school’s website reads: ‘It is with regret that we have had to take the decision to close the school to most students for the next two days and move to online remote education instead over this two-day period.
‘Over the last two weeks we have had rising numbers of both students and staff having to isolate due to testing positive for Covid-19.
‘To mitigate against this, we have increased hygiene and cleaning procedures, encouraged regular testing by all and brought back in the use of face masks in communal areas.
‘However, these measures have not been as affective as we would have liked them to be and in the last three days cases of Covid have risen rapidly.’
It continues: ‘With half term approaching we had hoped that we would be able to manage through until Friday and that the break over half term would curb the outbreak within the school.
‘However due to the figures stated above that are still rising we do not believe it is safe to keep students in school with our reduced staffing that makes it increasingly difficult to maintain high standards of education and safety within our school.’
Remote learning will be provided for pupils during the closure, the statement adds.
Taking into account the population size and age structure, the age-standardised mortality rate (ASMR) for deaths due to Covid in England (64.4 deaths per 100,000) increased significantly for the third consecutive month.
In England, two of the 10 leading causes of death were significantly lower than the five-year average (2015 to 2019) and four of the 10 leading causes had no significant difference to the five-year average.
The ONS said: ‘As seen in previous months, the mortality rate for deaths with an underlying cause of influenza and pneumonia was lower in September 2021 than the five-year average for September (23.9 per cent lower).
‘This is likely in part to be because of people continuing to follow coronavirus guidance, such as social distancing, reducing the spread of infections such as flu.’
Including all deaths involving Covid takes the total number of fatalities related to the virus up to 3,432 in England during the month, the ONS said.
In Wales, 8.5 per cent of the 2,964 deaths registered in September 2021 were due to Covid (253 deaths), a larger proportion than in August 2021 (2.7 per cent).
Some 88.8 per cent of deaths in England with Covid mentioned on the death certificate have had the virus as the underlying cause since March 2020.
It comes after Britain’s daily Covid cases breached 50,000 for the first time in three months yesterday.
Department of Health bosses recorded another 52,009 infections, a 15 per cent jump on a week ago and the highest number since July 17 at the peak of the summer spike. The daily average is now approaching peak second wave levels.
Latest hospitalisations rose by a third in seven days after 969 Covid-infected people were admitted to wards, but deaths (115) dropped compared to last Thursday.
Separate figures also showed infections are rising in every age group and four-fifths of areas in England, with an even more transmissible strain of Delta thought to be to blame.
AY.4.2 has spread to all but two dozen places in the country.
And the country’s largest symptom-tracking surveillance study suggested daily cases have already hit 80,000, feared to be the threshold at which the epidemic becomes ‘unstable’.
Sajid Javid, the Health Secretary, has maintained that the country is equipped to deal with 100,000 cases per day, however.