Covid-19 weekly deaths in England and Wales fall to half of Omicron peak

Deaths have fallen for the fifth week in a row.

08 March 2022

The number of deaths involving coronavirus registered each week in England and Wales has dropped to around half the level seen at the peak of the recent Omicron wave of infections.

Some 766 deaths registered in the week ending February 25 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is down 48% from the 1,484 deaths registered in the week to January 21 – the highest weekly total during the latest wave of the virus.

It is also the fifth week-on-week fall in a row.

The figures suggest Covid-19 deaths are now on a clear downwards trend, following the rise in December and early January that was driven by the Omicron variant.

Deaths during the recent wave remained well below the level reached during the second wave of the pandemic a year ago, however.

Some 8,433 deaths involving Covid-19 were registered in England and Wales in the week to January 29 2021.

This was 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 186,419 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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