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First weekly drop in deaths from coronavirus across all parts of UK reported - but total tops 40,000

The ONS data suggests the overall death total has topped 40,000 (PA)

3 min read

New figures have shown the first weekly drop in deaths from coronavirus in every region of the UK.

But analysis of the data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed the total fatalities from the disease has now topped 40,000.

Of the deaths registered for the week to 1 May just over 6,000 mentioned “novel coronavirus (Covid-19)”, a decrease of more than 2,000 compared with previous seven days.

It was the second week in a row overall deaths were down, but the ONS said “for the first time, all regions showed a decrease in the percentage of deaths involving Covid-19” in the final week in April.

However the total number of those who have died from coronavirus is believed to be above 40,000 when figures from all settings are taken into account.

The ONS data shows 35,044 deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales up to 1 May, and in Scotland there have been 2,795 up to 3 May.

The latest figures from Northern Ireland showed a further 516 up to 6 May, to give a total of 38,355 registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

When combined with the NHS England stats showing 1,678 hospital patients in England died having tested positive for Covid-19 between 2 May and 10 May indicates an overall death toll of just over 40,000.

The ONS figures also show care home deaths accounted for 40% of the coronavirus-related fatalities registered in England and Wales in the week ending 1 May; 2,423 of the total figure of 6,035.

This is down from 2,794 in the previous seven days, the first week-on-week decrease since March 20.

Nick Stripe, head of health analysis at the official stats body, said the total number of deaths registered across England and Wales to the week ending 1 May was 17,953.

He told BBC News: "That is about 4,000 lower than it was the week before but it is still 8,000 above the average that we would expect to see in this week at this time of year.

"So it is actually the seventh highest weekly total since this data set started in 1993 so we have had four out of the top seven weeks in the last four weeks.”

In response to the figures the minister for care, Helen Whately, said: “My thoughts are with everyone who has lost someone to coronavirus, every death from this virus is a tragedy. 

"I’d like to personally thank the care workers who are looking after our loved ones for their compassion and commitment.

“’We continue to work night and day to give social care providers the best possible support and ensure they have the protection they need as quickly as possible, we’ve already made millions of items of PPE available across the social care system. 

“Now we also have the capacity to deliver up to 30,000 tests a day to residents and staff in care homes for older people.”

She added: “It is a relief to see the number of deaths in care homes falling, but they sadly they continue to make up a significant proportion of coronavirus related deaths and our work is not done.

“Supporting the social care sector through this pandemic has always been a priority, and we are doing everything in our power to ensure they have all they need to look after those in their care.’’

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