Figures reveal there were 18,394 deaths ‘due to’ Covid recorded this year in England and Wales. But since May there have been 23,195 excess deaths where the primary cause was another condition.
Some of those people did die with a coronavirus infection, but it was not the main reason for the death.
Experts continue to argue over the reasons behind this recent uptick in unexpected deaths, which shows no sign of slowing.
But it is likely that collateral damage from the pandemic, coupled with long term NHS problems, have collided into a perfect, and deadly, storm.
…Prof Banerjee fears that the indirect effects of the pandemic will turn out to be greater than the harm from Covid itself, and that it is vital for future preparedness planning to take into account long-term outcomes.
Excess deaths have not been this high since the week ending Feb 19, when 2,182 extra deaths were registered – 18.8 per cent above the pre-2020 five-year average.
Although some of the increase in excess deaths can be explained by the recent rise in deaths involving Covid, most were not linked to the virus.
Kevin McConway, emeritus professor of applied statistics at The Open University, said: “These excess deaths can’t all be explained by deaths of people who had Covid-19. In the most recent week, for England and Wales there were 1,270 more deaths than the five-year average – that’s 14 per cent higher than that average.
…Deaths in private homes have been well above the 2015-19 average almost every week since April last year. Before Covid, around a quarter of deaths occurred at home but that has since risen to one third, according to research by the King’s Fund.
The number of people dying with flu and pneumonia on their death certificate in England and Wales is now 10 times higher than those with Covid, figures show.
The latest weekly data on deaths from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that there were 84 deaths mentioning Covid in the week ending June 11. There were 1,163 involving flu and pneumonia.
Registered Covid deaths fell by 14 per cent since the last update, in the week ending June 4, when 98 deaths were recorded.
Covid deaths now make up just 0.8 per cent of all deaths – down from 1.3 per cent in the previous week, despite the fact that week included the late May bank holiday, meaning there were fewer death registrations.
…The figures are much lower than would usually be expected for respiratory disease at this time of year. The five-year average for deaths involving flu and pneumonia in the same week is 1,704.