CORONAVIRUS caused almost 80 per cent of all deaths in UK in last two months, it was revealed today.
The number of excess deaths in the UK since the virus outbreak began is now just under 62,000.
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The figure is 10,000 more than the official Department of Health stats – which yesterday saw fatalities hit 39,045.
Excess deaths is a count of deaths from all causes compared to what would have been expected at the same point in the year.
And figures today released by the Office for National Statistics showed there had been 56,306 overall excess deaths between March 21 and May 22. Of these, 77 per cent – 43,586 – were down to coronavirus.
In total, there had been 147,863 deaths registered in England and Wales in that time.
Key findings from the ONS
- The number of coronavirus fatalities dropped to its lowest rate in seven weeks
- One in five deaths involved coronavirus in the week ending May 22
- 43,837 deaths involving coronavirus were registered in England and Wales between 28 December 2019 and 22 May 2020
- 12,733 fatalities were recorded in care homes in both England and Wales
The ONS is expected to publish an analysis of the deaths not related to coronavirus later this week.
The true coronavirus death toll was today revealed with 44,401 deaths involving the bug recorded in England and Wales up to May 22.
Along with the 819 hospital patients in England who tested positive for the bug and died between May 23 and 31, and the latest national figures from Scotland and Northern Ireland, it means a total of 49,700 have died across the UK.
But in a sign the tide is slowly turning against the virus, the percentage of deaths involving the deadly bug continued to decrease across all English regions.
There were 2,589 deaths involving coronavirus in England and Wales registered in the week ending May 22 – the lowest weekly number recorded in the last seven weeks, the Office for National Statistics said.
And for the same period in England and Wales, there were 12,288 deaths – a drop of 2,285 from the previous week but still 2,348 more than the five-year average.
There were 1,289 excess deaths in care homes during the seven days, compared with the five-year average, and 24 fewer deaths in hospitals.
More than a quarter of all coronavirus deaths were in care homes in the week ending on May 22.
It comes after it was yesterday revealed almost half of hospital trusts in England have reported no coronavirus-related deaths over the past 48 hours.
The figures released on Monday show 65 hospital trusts (49.6 per cent) did not record a Covid-19 death over a 48-hour period.
Despite the optimistic figures, researchers warned death figures from the weekend always tend to be lower than on weekdays due a lag in reporting.
Extra deaths were also slipped into the government figures yesterday.
And Brits have been warned that another lockdown could be put in place if there is a second spike in cases.
Yesterday marked a slight easing of lockdown restrictions, with gatherings of up to six people now permitted as long as social distancing guidelines are followed.
Speaking at yesterday's Downing Street press briefing, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: "We are attempting to move the system from these national, blanket measures to a more targeted approach.
"This is why test and trace is such an important part of that.
"But we have always said that we are prepared to reintroduce measures – whether that is nationally or in response to a localised outbreak – if that is necessary."
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