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Covid-19 Deaths Were Still Going Up At The End Of January With Second Deadliest Week Of The Pandemic

The number of people dying from Covid-19 increased through January despite the third lockdown (PA)

2 min read

New data reveals the number of people dying from Covid-19 was still rising at the end of January despite the country being several weeks into a third lockdown.

The figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) highlight the long lag time between people becoming infected with coronavirus and dying from the disease.

Today’s report shows overall the number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 29 January was 18,448 – 228 fewer than in the previous seven days – the fifth-highest number recorded during the pandemic.

But of those, 8,433 specifically mentioned "novel coronavirus (COVID-19)” on the death certificate, an increase of 11 deaths compared with previous week, making it the second-highest weekly number recorded in the pandemic.

The percentage of deaths involving Covid-19 out of all deaths in the week ending 29 January – 45.7% – is the highest proportion of any seven days that has been recorded during the pandemic.

However the separate set of death figures compiled by the government has seen the number of fatalities fall in recent days, meaning the picture for February should be more positive once those figures are compiled.

The impact of the vaccine rollout, which has now seen 12.3 million people receiving their first dose, should also begin to have an effect on the overall numbers.

Of the deaths reported to Jan 29, 2,505 were in care homes, the highest total since the week to 1 May last year, and bringing the total deaths in these settings to 35,720.

The ONS found the number of coronavirus deaths increased in most English regions compared with previous week, although the North East, London and South East of England recorded decreases.

However, the South East and London were two of three regions which saw more than 1,000 Covid-19 deaths that week.

Overall there had been 126,023 total deaths by January 29 where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, the ONS said, and there were 19 consecutive days last month – from January 7 to 25 – when the daily death toll was above 1,000.

This was a longer streak than during the first wave of the virus in April 2020, when there were 23 consecutive days where the death total above 1,000.

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