Covid was the third leading cause of death in England last month after the country lifted all restrictions, official figures showed today.
Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that the virus was responsible for 2,162 fatalities in August, the equivalent of nearly 70 a day. This was more than double the number recorded in July, when it was the ninth biggest killer.
Only dementia (4,417) and heart disease (3,982) killed more people last month.
It means Covid has now reached its highest rank for monthly fatalities since March, when the brutal second wave receded.
There were 40,460 deaths from all causes in England last month, a tenth more than the five-year average for the last month of summer. Covid was behind 5.3 percent of the fatalities.
A separate ONS report published today shows that the number of deaths from the coronavirus rose by almost a third in the second week of September. The virus was listed on 857 death certificates in the week to September 10, up from 659 in the previous seven-day period.
But the government agency said the rise was skewed by the August holiday, which saw fewer registrations in the past week. But there was a slight increase in reported deaths over the time frame.
It comes amid fears Britain’s Covid cases may begin to rise again, in a sign that the predicted wave of infections following the return of schools and workers back to the office may be starting to materialize.
If the upward trend in cases is real, hospitalizations and deaths are likely to follow in the coming weeks.
Boris Johnson unveiled his winter plan last week to try to keep the virus at bay in the colder months and prevent the country from returning to another lockdown. Ministers hope that booster vaccines for over-50s and shots for over-12s will help keep Covid under control and prevent the NHS from coming under unsustainable pressure.
The chart above shows Covid’s ranking in terms of deaths caused in England since July last year. It reveals that the virus rose to number one during the second wave between November and February. It is now rising again and was the third leading cause of death in August
Covid has become the third leading cause of death in England, official figures show today. They revealed there were 2,162 deaths in August citing the virus. Only dementia (4,417 deaths) and heart disease (3,982) led to more deaths. There were 2,150 deaths from lung cancer
The Office for National Statistics released a separate report today showing that the number of weekly deaths from Covid has risen by almost a third in a week. They said there were 857 deaths citing the virus, but pointed out that the surge is likely due to the holiday in early September, which delayed the reporting of numbers.
The death rate from Covid has risen between July and August. The chart above shows the Covid death rate for England (dark blue bar) and Wales (light blue bar)
The chart above shows the number of deaths in England from Covid (green line) and the total number of fatalities (dark blue line) on the date they occurred. It drops for September because it takes at least a week for a death to be formally recorded, then for statisticians to note the date it occurred
The graph above shows the death rate in England (blue line) and Wales (blue dotted line) per year for the period January through August. This shows that the death rate in both countries is lower than in 2020, but still higher than in 2019
The ONS report showed there were a further 294 deaths in August with Covid citing but not listing it as the underlying cause of death.
This means there were a total of 2,456 death certificates that included the virus, or six percent of the total number of fatalities.
The North West registered the highest number of Covid deaths (376) last month, followed by London (320) and Yorkshire and the Humber (300).
End of working from home ‘fueled England’s third Covid wave’
White-collar workers sparked the third wave of Covid in England, official data suggested yesterday.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that the number of cases this summer was highest among office workers, bankers, teachers and other professions.
The report also found that in May and July, for the first time in the pandemic, white people had higher infection rates by population size than ethnic minorities.
The figures suggest that the drive to get people back to work after the winter lockdown has contributed to the spread of the ultra-transmissible Delta variant, which was first seeded in the country in late April.
Between May 23 and July 25, there were 235 confirmed white cases per 100,000 person weeks. By comparison, in other ethnic minority communities, the figure was only 98 per 100,000.
During the second wave, which began last September, cases were highest among Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian and black adults.
On the other hand, the south-west recorded the least number of Covid deaths (148), followed by the east of England (167) and the north-east (171).
Each region recorded more Covid deaths in August than the previous month.
In Wales, there were 70 deaths from Covid in August, more than double the 33 in the previous month.
Covid was also the seventh leading cause of death in the country, ranking 22nd in the previous month.
Separate weekly data showed that the number of Covid deaths had risen by almost a third week-on-week, but the ONS said this was likely due to the holiday on August 30, which will have affected the number of registrations.
About one in 13 (7.8 percent) of all recorded deaths in England and Wales in the week to September 10 mentioned Covid on the death certificate.
About 120 deaths from Covid residents were recorded in England and Wales in the week to September 10, compared to 89 the week before.
A total of 43,156 nursing home residents in England and Wales have had Covid recorded on their death certificates since the start of the pandemic.
The ONS figures cover deaths of care home residents in all settings, not just care homes.
It came after daily Covid cases in Britain rose significantly yesterday in the first hint of a delayed return to school.
The health ministry’s daily update showed there were 36,100 new infections in the past 24 hours, up 17 percent from Monday’s figure.
There were signs that the trend of the epidemic had begun to change over the weekend, as cases rose by about 2 percent after a week of continued decline.
Figures from the government’s Covid dashboard for England show the number of cases has fallen in the past week in every age group except children between the ages of five and 14.
For weeks, experts had warned that the return of schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland could spark another wave of infections at the beginning of the month.
Scotland saw a rapid rise in cases almost immediately when education resumed in mid-August, but the rest of the country appeared to have avoided a rise.
The government’s scientific advisory group has also warned that a sudden cessation of working from home could trigger another spike this fall.
Meanwhile, daily Covid deaths in the UK fell by a fifth in a week with 49 additional victims. The number of fatalities is a few weeks behind the cases because of the time it takes people to become seriously ill.
No new Covid hospitalization data for the UK were released yesterday, but the latest figures from NHS England show this figure had fallen by 14 per cent on 14 September.