Around 50,000 more people have died in England and Wales since the start of the coronavirus outbreak than would normally be expected for this time of year, new figures show.
Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released this morning shows an estimated 49,647 “excess deaths” occurred between 14 March to 8 May, with 39,071 of those attributed to Covid-19. The UK as a whole has recorded nearly 55,000 excess deaths, ONS statistician Nick Stripe told the BBC.
The good news is that the number of weekly deaths, both caused by the virus and overall, is now at its lowest since the start of April.
While all regions in England and Wales saw a decrease in deaths attributed to Covid-19, the north-west overtook London for the first time as the epicentre of the outbreak with 597 deaths in the week to 8 May.
The number of people dying in care homes has also been falling for two consecutive weeks, with 1,666 coronavirus-related deaths recorded in the first week of May compared to 2,423 during the previous week.
However, the share of care home deaths that were attributed to Covid-19 has seen a small bump, with 39 per cent of deaths now linked to the disease.