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16 April 2020updated 25 Jul 2021 10:34am

Nine things we learned from the latest UK coronavirus data

From causes of death to shopping habits, the social and financial impact of Covid-19 is becoming clearer in new data released by the Office for National Statistics.

By Anoosh Chakelian

The ONS has published the latest data on coronavirus’s impact on society, the economy and deaths. Here are a few striking findings from the statistics:

1. A quarter of businesses have closed

One in four businesses have closed due to coronavirus, according to an ONS survey.

Of those, three quarters still open and one in five workers have been furloughed, which means the government paying 80 per cent of their salaries up to a certain level under the Job Retention Scheme.

Two in five businesses still trading say their turnover was much lower than usual, and 41 per cent are reducing their levels of staff in the short term.

At businesses still trading, more than a third of staff are working at their regular workplace, while just under half (47 per cent) are working from home.

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In terms of quarantine, just under one in 20 workers surveyed were off sick or in self-isolation because they or someone in their household were showing symptoms of Covid-19.

2. A fifth of UK household incomes have been hit

More than one in five adults surveyed by the ONS say the coronavirus crisis has taken a toll on their household finances. Nearly three quarters of those affected are worried about less money coming in, and just under a third are dipping into their savings to pay for day-to-day living costs.

More than a fifth of those affected are struggling to pay bills, and a fifth say their pension has fallen in value.

3. Men suffer double the death rate of women

The death rate due to coronavirus for men was almost double that of women in the period analysed by the ONS.

Men, the elderly and people with pre-existing health conditions are most like to die due to coronavirus – with more than nine in ten people having a pre-existing health condition. No deaths of people under 15 were recorded in March. The average Covid-19 fatality has multiple pre-existing conditions, and one fifth of deaths are among those aged between 80-84.

4. Pre-existing conditions most associated with Covid-19 deaths revealed

The most common pre-existing condition associated with Covid-19 deaths is ischaemic heart disease, followed by pneumonia, dementia, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

5. Covid-19 is now the third most common cause of death

Deaths in England and Wales registered before 6 April show Covid-19 to be the third most common cause, with nearly one in ten (the top cause is dementia and Alzheimer’s followed by ischaemic heart disease).

6. A third of people think we’ll go back to normal in months

Around a third of people surveyed predicted life would return to normal within four to six months, while another third thought it was take longer than half a year.

7. Half of us are highly anxious

More than half of adults surveyed by the ONS (53.1 per cent) say the crisis is affecting their wellbeing, with nearly half of adults reporting high levels of anxiety (at 46.9 per cent).

At 45.7 per cent, women are more likely to be very worried about coronavirus than men (at 31.1 per cent), and anxiety levels are similar among the young and the old.

8. The cost of tomato puree has risen by 3.5 per cent in two weeks

Pet food saw the highest price increase among high-demand products identified by the ONS, at 8.4 per cent (in the period between 30 March-5 April and 6-12 April).

Rice was the second highest, at 5.8 per cent, with tomato puree third at 3.5 per cent, and nappies fourth at 3.4 per cent.

9. Since the first week of shutdown, essential shopping now costs 4.4 per cent more

Online prices of items in the high-demand products basket (everyday essential items that currently have a high consumer demand, based on consumer spending patterns) have increased by 4.4 per cent since 16 March.

Read rolling analysis of this data on the New Statesman’s live Covid-19 blog.

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