New data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that 46,500 more people have died during the pandemic than would usually be expected for this time of year in England and Wales, with nearly a third of those deaths unexplained.
Only 33,400 of these “excess deaths”, or 72 per cent, have been attributed to Covid-19, leaving 13,237 extra deaths attributed to other causes. It’s likely that some of these deaths were directly caused by Covid-19, while others were a result of people not accessing healthcare services as they would normally do.
Nearly 18,000 people died in England and Wales over the week to 1 May alone, compared to an average of 10,000 for the same week in the previous five years.
The figures are based on a count of weekly deaths in England and Wales, using the dates those deaths were registered. An additional, provisional figure released by the ONS shows the number of deaths that occurred up to 1 May linked to Covid-19 was at least 35,044.
The good news is that the number of deaths, both attributed to Covid-19 and unexplained, have significantly dropped for the first time since the start of the outbreak.
The chart below shows the number of weekly deaths shrunk at the end of April compared to the previous weeks. However, it remains much higher than usual for this time of year.