Covid-19 weekly deaths in England and Wales fall for sixth week in a row

Deaths are now less than half the total at the peak of the recent Omicron wave.

15 March 2022

The number of deaths involving coronavirus registered each week in England and Wales has dropped for the sixth week in a row – the longest uninterrupted fall since spring last year.

A total of 670 deaths registered in the week ending March 4 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is down 13% on the previous seven days and is just under half the number of weekly deaths registered at the peak of the recent Omicron wave of infections.

The data suggests Covid-19 deaths are still on a clear downwards trend, following a rise in December and early January.

HEALTH Coronavirus Deaths
(PA Graphics)

It is too soon to see any impact in the figures of the rise in coronavirus infections across the UK in recent days.

The last time the number of weekly deaths fell for at least six weeks in a row was in April and early May 2021, at the end of the second wave of the virus.

Deaths during the latest wave have remained well below the levels reached in the first and second waves.

Some 8,433 deaths involving Covid-19 were registered in England and Wales in the week to January 29 2021 – nearly six times the 1,484 deaths registered in the peak week of the current wave.

The relatively low number of deaths during the Omicron wave reflects the success of the vaccination programme, in particular the rollout of booster doses at the end of last year.

Vaccine effectiveness against mortality with the Omicron variant for people aged 50 and over is estimated to be 95% at two or more weeks after a booster jab, compared with around 60% at 25-plus weeks after a second dose, according to the UK Health Security Agency.

Overall, a total of 187,261 deaths have now occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, the ONS said.

The highest number on a single day was 1,487 on January 19 2021.

During the first wave of the virus, the daily toll peaked at 1,461 on April 8 2020.

Around nine in 10 deaths with Covid-19 on the death certificate since the start of the pandemic have coronavirus as the primary cause of death, with a minority listing the virus as a contributory factor.

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