UK

Britain’s Covid-19 deaths rise by 55% in a week with 761 victims recorded in latest seven-day spell

The number of people dying from coronavirus in the UK is at a four-month high and has risen by more than 50 per cent in a week, official data revealed today.  

Office for National Statistics figures showed 761 Brits fell victim to the disease in the week ending October 16, the most recent recording period. 

It is confirmation that the mid-September surge in infections felt throughout the country is finally starting to take its toll, with the figure being 55 per cent higher than the 474 people killed by Covid-19 in the week prior and more than double the 343 in the seven days to October 2.

Not since June 19, when there were 849 deaths, have more people lost their lives to the disease in a single week. At that point, the country was still in a national lockdown. For comparison, weekly deaths peaked at 9,495 at the height of Britain’s outbreak in the week ending April 17 and reached their lowest on September 4, when just 83 people succumbed to the disease. 

Covid-19 patients take about three weeks to fall seriously ill, which explains why the rise in cases late last month is only now translating into a spike in deaths. 

The ONS now estimates the virus has killed 59,927 people, although its data is 10 days out of date, meaning it is almost guaranteed to have surpassed the grim milestone of 60,000 already.

But to bring the worrying figures into perspective, Covid-19 is only responsible for one in 16 total deaths in the UK every week and flu and pneumonia are killing twice as many people.  

And data suggests Britain’s outbreak has also started to slow down in the second half of October thanks to tighter restrictions on freedoms nationally and the three-tiered lockdown system in hotspots, which suggests fatalities could start to tail off in the coming weeks. 

Office for National Statistics figures showed 761 Brits fell victim to the disease in the week ending October 16, the most recent recording period. Not since June 19, when there were 849 deaths, have more people lost their lives to the disease in a single week. At that point, the country was still in a national lockdown

To bring the worrying figures into perspective, Covid-19 is only responsible for one in 16 total deaths in the UK every week and flu and pneumonia are killing twice as many people

To bring the worrying figures into perspective, Covid-19 is only responsible for one in 16 total deaths in the UK every week and flu and pneumonia are killing twice as many people

More than a third (37 per cent) of England's coronavirus deaths were in the North West, where the bulk of the country's transmissions is happening. The North East recorded 93 Covid-19 fatalities, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber 87, the West Midlands (49) and London (43)

 More than a third (37 per cent) of England’s coronavirus deaths were in the North West, where the bulk of the country’s transmissions is happening. The North East recorded 93 Covid-19 fatalities, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber 87, the West Midlands (49) and London (43)

The number of people dying in hospital in England and Wales from any cause is still lower than medics would expect, the data shows. There were 4,346 fatalities in the week ending October 16, which is 184 fewer than the five-year average

The number of people dying in hospital in England and Wales from any cause is still lower than medics would expect, the data shows. There were 4,346 fatalities in the week ending October 16, which is 184 fewer than the five-year average

Overall, the number of deaths from all causes registered in the UK in the week ending October 16 was 11,928, which was 726 deaths higher than the five-year average, the equivalent of about 7 per cent.

The coronavirus was responsible for about one in 16 total fatalities, compared to little over one in 22 the week prior.

Breaking down the 761 deaths involving Covid-19 across the UK, 622 were in England, 75 in Scotland, 47 in Wales and 17 in Northern Ireland.

More than a third (37 per cent) of England’s coronavirus deaths were in the North West, where the bulk of the country’s transmissions is happening.

Greater Manchester, Merseyside and swathes of Lancashire and Cheshire have been forced into Tier Three lockdowns because of spiralling cases in the region.

The North East recorded 93 Covid-19 fatalities, followed by Yorkshire and the Humber 87, the West Midlands (49) and London (43).

The South West – which has largely thwarted off the worst of the crisis thanks to its rural geography reported the fewest virus victims, at just 18. Covid-19 is a disease that thrives in densely populated areas where it can jump between people. 

The ONS data revealed that, in England and Wales in the most recent week, there were 1,268 deaths attributed to flu or pneumonia, which is almost double (90 per cent) more than the 670 Covid-19 deaths in the two countries.

Flu deaths are actually lower than the five-year average at this time of year (1,678) which experts believe is a byproduct of Covid-19 social distancing rules restricting the virus’ spread.

The number of people dying in hospital in England and Wales from any cause is still lower than medics would expect, the data shows. There were 4,346 fatalities in the week ending October 16, which is 184 fewer than the five-year average.

Hospital deaths have been lower than average for the last five months, which ONS experts say is because Covid-19 likely sped up the deaths of people who would have died of other causes, meaning the year’s fatalities have been front-loaded. 

Hospitals are also still scrambling to get services back up and running and cut down record waiting lists after months of operating at a fraction of their capacity, meaning many people are struggling to get appointments, tests and operations.

Care home deaths were also below the five-year average for months following the devastation Covid-19 wreaked on the sector during the first wave. 

But there were 2,260 deaths in care homes this week – 90 more than average – which has been partly caused by a significant rise in Covid-19 cases in the sector.

For the first time since late June there were more than 100 deaths caused by coronavirus in care homes – 106 compared to 169 in the week ending July 5.

Meanwhile there are still 776 more people dying in their houses than medics would expect at this time of year, highlighting the negative knock-on effect the pandemic is having on the nation’s health.

Overall, 85 per cent of the excess deaths in private homes were of those aged 70 years and over (662 excess deaths). 

Experts say many people are also still too scared to use the NHS for fear of catching Covid-19, while others don’t want to be a burden on the health service.  

So far this year, the ONS data shows of deaths involving the coronavirus 63.9% (34,709 deaths) occurred in hospital, with the remainder occurring in care homes (15,819 deaths), private homes (2,594 deaths), hospices (767 deaths), other communal establishments (229 deaths) and elsewhere (207 deaths). 


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