Coronavirus deaths continue to rise in England and Wales, ONS data show

The number of people dying with Covid-19 rose by 40 per cent in the first week of November, when the virus was to blame for one in every six deaths in England and Wales and killed more people than at any time since May.

A weekly report by the Office for National Statistics showed 1,937 people died between October 31 and November 6 and had coronavirus mentioned on their death certificate, up from 1,379 the week before. The week before that had also seen a 40 per cent increase in deaths.

ONS experts found that deaths of all causes are now above average in every region of England except for London, where they are on par with normal for this time of the year. London deaths were still below average last week.

Today’s update shows 1,481 people more than usual died in the first week of November, meaning ‘excess deaths’ pushed the total 14.3 per cent higher than would be expected for this time of year. 

Deaths have now risen for nine weeks in a row and the most fatalities are being recorded in the North West of England, which saw 419 more people die than usual – an increase of 31.4 per cent. 

The region, which includes Liverpool and Manchester, has borne the brunt of England’s second wave of coronavirus and, although infections there are now declining, deaths will continue to rise as records catch up with people who were infected weeks or even months ago. It takes an average of two or three weeks to die after getting infected.

Excess deaths – the number of fatalities that would not usually be expected at this time of year – was significantly lower in other regions, at 273 in Yorkshire and the Humber, 207 in Wales and fewer than 150 in all other parts of the country. 

Deaths involving Covid-19 are still being outstripped by those among people who have flu or pneumonia – 1,937 in the latest week, compared to 2,267 – but the gap is narrowing rapidly. While there were over 1,000 more deaths related to Covid than flu in every week in September, that difference had plummeted to just 330 by the start of this month. 

The ONS’s report showed that deaths of all causes are now higher than average in all mainstream settings – in hospitals, care homes and private homes.  

Hospitals account for more than 80 per cent of coronavirus deaths – a total of 1,109 out of 1,937 in the first week of November.

A further 168 people died with Covid-19 in care homes, along with 81 in private homes and 21 in ‘other’ settings. 

The ONS report said: ‘The number of deaths in hospitals was above the five-year average in Week 45 for the third consecutive week (520 more deaths); the number of deaths in private homes and care homes was also above the five-year average (997 and 38 more deaths respectively), but deaths in other locations were below the five-year average (76 fewer deaths).’

The number of people dying with coronavirus has now risen every week since September 4, when school and university terms across the country restarted for 2020-21.

WHERE ARE PANDEMIC DEATHS THE HIGHEST?

Office for National Statistics figures show that there are more excess deaths happening in North West England than any other region.

Data for the seven days between October 31 and November 6 shows:

Deaths of any cause during that week

North West 

Wales

North East

Yorkshire

East Mids

West Mids

South West

East of E

South East

London

1,900

832

675

1,294

990

1,186

1,174

1,177

1,614

952 

35%

33%

27%  

27%

13%

9%

7%

6%

1%

0% 

568

166

152

329

191

181

58

116

89

87 

Cases started to surge in September and deaths have followed suit after falling to a low of 78 – an average of just one per day – in the week that ended September 4. 

The figure for the week up to November 6 (1,937) is the largest number of people to have died with coronavirus since the week of May 22, when 2,589 people died.

At the peak of the crisis the number of deaths skyrocketed to more than 8,000 per week, peaking at 8,758 in the week that ended April 17.  Experts do not expect this second wave to hit such devastating levels. 

Estimates of the number of infections published by the ONS – most recently 47,700 per day projected last Friday – suggest the coronavirus outbreak in England ‘remains at about 50,000 new cases per day’.

Commenting at the start of this month when the ONS suggested infections had stabilised at that level, Oxford University biologist Professor James Naismith said that, if that was the peak of the second wave, he would not expect the death count to rise above 1,000 per day ‘for any prolonged period’, but that it was ‘very likely’ that it would be above 500 a day for a while.

The Department of Health’s daily count of deaths – which announces deaths from records dating back over the past week – is currently at an average of 416 per day, with 213 confirmed yesterday. 

Today’s ONS report puts the total number of people to have died with Covid-19 in England and Wales throughout the whole pandemic at 59,549 up to November 6.

This includes anyone who has the virus mentioned on their death certificate, including people who never got tested or diagnosed, which makes it higher than the Department of Health’s counted 52,147, which only includes people who died within four weeks of an official positive test result.

ONS data also shows that considerably more people than normal are dying in private homes, which has concerned scientists.

A total of 113,364 people died in private residences between March and November, this week’s release showed, which was 32,681 more than in a normal year.

Experts say that this was to be expected at the start of the pandemic, when NHS hospitals had to turf out patients to make space for people with Covid-19, but it has remained higher than average for the entire year. 

They fear that people may be avoiding healthcare because they’re scared of coronavirus, and either not getting life-prolonging treatment or dying without pain relief that they would be given in a hospital.

Professor David Spiegelhalter, a statistician at the University of Cambridge, said today: ‘Usually around 2,500 people die at home each week at this time of year – now it is 3,500. 

‘That is 1,000 more, an extra 40 per cent. These extra home deaths, very few of which are from Covid, have continued since March. 

‘It would be very good to know the quality of end-of-life care being received, and how many of these deaths might have been delayed through, for example, more rapid treatment of heart attacks and strokes.

‘When we look at the main underlying cause of death in England and Wales that week, there were 1,743 deaths for which it was Covid-19, compared to 307 as influenza or pneumonia. And usually only a small proportion of deaths from ‘influenza and pneumonia’ are from flu itself, and so Covid is definitely not in the least like flu.’ 

HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE DIED OF CORONAVIRUS IN YOUR LOCAL AREA? (Covid-19 deaths by place of death and local authority – ONS data for the week ending November 6)
Area nameCare homeElsewhereHomeHospiceHospitalOther communal establishmentTOTAL
Liverpool1001140052
Birmingham102046049
Doncaster1503225045
Leeds701235045
Wigan200042044
Sheffield603030140
Bradford1302024039
Oldham703028038
Bury400129034
Rochdale203029034
Rhondda Cynon Taf500025030
Sefton602021029
Kirklees500024029
Tameside300123027
Sunderland802017027
County Durham700018025
Barnsley602017025
Manchester200022024
Salford402018024
Sandwell201020023
Wakefield200021023
Stoke-on-Trent000021021
Blaenau Gwent100018019
Wyre200016018
North East Lincolnshire500012017
Rotherham000017017
Warrington000016016
Knowsley000016016
Bridgend101014016
Wirral301011015
Walsall001014015
Caerphilly400011015
Derby40109014
Colchester70007014
Havering000113014
Stockton-on-Tees70006013
Blackpool20218013
Nottingham200011013
Thurrock101011013
Lancaster30109013
Stockport002011013
Northumberland001011012
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole20127012
Trafford100011012
Newcastle upon Tyne20109012
Dudley101010012
Calderdale30009012
Gateshead001011012
Blackburn with Darwen10109011
East Riding of Yorkshire20108011
Cheshire West and Chester10118011
West Lancashire001010011
Bolton100010011
St. Helens001010011
Swansea20009011
Leicester40105010
Cheshire East10108010
Newark and Sherwood40015010
Neath Port Talbot30007010
Shropshire3011409
Erewash2001609
Ashfield0000909
Wolverhampton4000509
Merthyr Tydfil1000809
Redcar and Cleveland3010408
Darlington5000308
Luton1000708
Basildon0000808
Preston0000808
South Holland6000208
Gedling1000708
Mansfield1010608
East Staffordshire1010608
Ealing1000708
Redbridge1000708
Newport0002608
Kingston upon Hull, City of2010407
Bristol, City of1010507
Windsor and Maidenhead0000707
Barrow-in-Furness2000417
Carlisle0000707
Amber Valley2000507
Pendle2000507
Coventry0000707
Barking and Dagenham0010607
Torfaen0000707
Middlesbrough1000506
North Lincolnshire0000606
Milton Keynes0000606
Wiltshire3000306
North East Derbyshire0010506
Blaby3000306
East Lindsey1020306
South Tyneside1000506
Hounslow1000506
Flintshire0000606
Reading0000505
Wokingham2000305
Brighton and Hove2001205
Dorset1000405
High Peak3000205
South Derbyshire0000505
Brentwood0000505
Rossendale0000505
South Ribble1000405
Harborough3000205
Hambleton2000305
Bassetlaw1000405
Broxtowe2000305
Rushcliffe2000305
Stafford0000505
Staffordshire Moorlands0000505
Waverley0000505
North Tyneside2000305
Bexley0000505
Vale of Glamorgan0000505
Monmouthshire0000505
Hartlepool0001304
York2000204
Slough0000404
Central Bedfordshire1000304
Buckinghamshire0000404
Derbyshire Dales0000404
Wealden0000404
Tendring0000404
Stroud4000004
Swale0001304
Hyndburn0000404
North West Leicestershire0000404
Northampton0001304
Lichfield2000204
East Suffolk1000304
Bromley0000404
Hillingdon1000304
Denbighshire3000104
Carmarthenshire2000204
Halton2000103
South Gloucestershire0000303
Torbay0010203
Peterborough0000303
Bedford0000303
Fenland0000303
Bolsover1010103
Chesterfield0000303
Cotswold3000003
Basingstoke and Deane1000203
Havant0000303
Hertsmere0000303
Dover0000303
Chorley0000303
Ribble Valley2010003
Charnwood0000303
Hinckley and Bosworth0000303
West Lindsey0000303
Daventry0000303
Wellingborough1000203
Harrogate0001203
Selby1000203
Sedgemoor0000303
Newcastle-under-Lyme1000203
South Staffordshire1000203
Babergh1000203
Elmbridge0000303
Horsham1000203
Solihull0000303
Barnet0100203
Greenwich0000303
Newham0000303
Gwynedd2000103
Wrexham0010203
Cardiff1000203
Rutland1000102
Swindon0000202
Southend-on-Sea0000202
Medway1000102
Portsmouth0000202
Southampton0000202
Isle of Wight0000202
Copeland0000202
Eden1000102
South Lakeland0000202
Teignbridge0000202
Lewes0000202
Castle Point0000202
Epping Forest0000202
Fareham0000112
Rushmoor0000202
Test Valley0000202
Broxbourne0000202
Dacorum0000202
Dartford1000102
Gravesham1001002
Sevenoaks0001102
Fylde0000202
Boston0000202
Lincoln0000202
Broadland0000202
Corby0000202
Scarborough0010102
South Somerset0000202
Cannock Chase0000202
Woking0000202
Bromsgrove1000102
Wychavon1000102
Enfield0000202
Hackney0000202
Hammersmith and Fulham0000202
Islington0000202
Merton0000202
Tower Hamlets0000202
Conwy0000202
Pembrokeshire0000202
Powys0000202
Herefordshire, County of0000101
Telford and Wrekin0000101
North Somerset1000001
Plymouth0000101
Cornwall0000101
South Cambridgeshire0000101
South Hams0000101
Torridge0000101
Hastings0000101
Braintree0001001
Chelmsford0000101
Harlow0000101
Maldon0000101
Rochford0000101
Forest of Dean0000101
Eastleigh0000101
Hart1000001
North Hertfordshire0000101
Watford0000101
Canterbury0000101
Thanet0000101
Tonbridge and Malling1000001
Burnley0000101
Oadby and Wigston1000001
South Kesteven0000101
Great Yarmouth0000101
King’s Lynn and West Norfolk0000101
North Norfolk0000101
East Northamptonshire0000101
South Northamptonshire0000101
Craven0000101
Ryedale0000101
South Oxfordshire0000101
Vale of White Horse1000001
West Oxfordshire0000101
Tamworth0000101
Ipswich0000101
Mid Suffolk0000101
Epsom and Ewell0000101
Guildford0000101
Mole Valley0010001
Reigate and Banstead0000101
Runnymede0000101
Spelthorne0000101
Surrey Heath0000101
North Warwickshire1000001
Nuneaton and Bedworth1000001
Rugby0000101
Arun0000101
Chichester1000001
Crawley1000001
Worthing1000001
Malvern Hills0000101
Redditch0000101
East Hertfordshire0010001
Stevenage0000101
West Suffolk0010001
Somerset West and Taunton0000101
Brent0000101
Croydon0000101
Harrow0000101
Kensington and Chelsea0000101
Kingston upon Thames0000101
Lewisham0000101
Richmond upon Thames1000001
Sutton0000101
Waltham Forest0000101
Wandsworth0000101
Westminster0000101
Isle of Anglesey0000101
Ceredigion0000101
Bath and North East Somerset0000000
Bracknell Forest0000000
West Berkshire0000000
Isles of Scilly0000000
Cambridge0000000
East Cambridgeshire0000000
Huntingdonshire0000000
Allerdale0000000
East Devon0000000
Exeter0000000
Mid Devon0000000
North Devon0000000
West Devon0000000
Eastbourne0000000
Rother0000000
Uttlesford0000000
Cheltenham0000000
Gloucester0000000
Tewkesbury0000000
East Hampshire0000000
Gosport0000000
New Forest0000000
Winchester0000000
Three Rivers0000000
Ashford0000000
Maidstone0000000
Folkestone and Hythe0000000
Tunbridge Wells0000000
Melton0000000
North Kesteven0000000
Breckland0000000
Norwich0000000
South Norfolk0000000
Kettering0000000
Richmondshire0000000
Cherwell0000000
Oxford0000000
Mendip0000000
Tandridge0000000
Stratford-on-Avon0000000
Warwick0000000
Adur0000000
Mid Sussex0000000
Worcester0000000
Wyre Forest0000000
St Albans0000000
Welwyn Hatfield0000000
City of London0000000
Camden0000000
Haringey0000000
Lambeth0000000
Southwark0000000

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