Covid-19 'not in top 10 leading causes of deaths' across England and Wales

23 October 2020, 14:46

The analysis from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) included only deaths with an underlying cause of Covid-19
The analysis from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) included only deaths with an underlying cause of Covid-19. Picture: PA

By Matt Drake

Coronavirus was not in the top 10 leading causes of death across England and Wales in September, according to official figures.

There were 2,703 excess deaths across Wales and England in September and the death rate for coronavirus patients has increased in England for the time since the peak of the outbreak in April, data shows.

However, coronavirus did not feature in the 10 leading causes of death in September in England or Wales.

In England Covid-19 was the 19th most common cause of death, and in Wales it was 24th.

Of the 39,827 deaths registered in September in England, 1.7% (690) involved coronavirus, and in Wales the figure was 1.3% of the 2,610 deaths (35).

Read more: 'Nearly a full ward' more Covid-19 patients in Nottingham hospitals each day

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The analysis from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) included only deaths with an underlying cause of Covid-19, referred to as "due to Covid-19", which is different from "involving Covid-19", which includes those where the virus is mentioned anywhere on a death certificate.

The figures, published on Friday, showed that the age-standardised mortality rate in September due to Covid-19 was 12.6 per 100,000 people in England.

This is up from 7.2 per 100,000 in August and is the first increase since April, the ONS said.

The figure is still significantly lower than the peak of the virus in April when it was 623.2 deaths per 100,000 people, the data showed.

Read more: Number of Covid-19 patients dying in England highest since May

The ONS said: "In September 2020, the number of deaths and mortality rate due to Covid-19 remained significantly below levels seen in March 2020 - the first month a Covid-19 death was registered in England and Wales.

"However, the mortality rate due to Covid-19 was significantly higher in England in September 2020 compared with the previous month, August 2020.

"The mortality rate due to Covid-19 also increased in Wales, but this was not significant.

"This is the first increase in the mortality rate for deaths due to Covid-19 from one month to the next since April 2020."

In Wales the age-standardised mortality rate in September due to Covid-19 was 10.8 per 100,000 people in Wales - 97.8% lower than the rate of 495.1 in April, the ONS said.

Coronavirus did not feature in the 10 leading causes of death in September in England or Wales.

In England Covid-19 was the 19th most common cause of death, and in Wales it was 24th.

Of the 39,827 deaths registered in September in England, 1.7% (690) involved coronavirus, and in Wales the figure was 1.3% of the 2,610 deaths (35).

The ONS analysis included only deaths with an underlying cause of Covid-19, referred to as "due to Covid-19", which is different from "involving Covid-19", which includes those where the virus is mentioned anywhere on a death certificate.

In Wales the age-standardised mortality rate in September due to Covid-19 was 10.8 per 100,000 people in Wales - 97.8% lower than the rate of 495.1 in April, the ONS said.

The news comes as Wales is to implement a so-called "fire-break" two-week lockdown.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said there were 45 deaths of people with Covid-19 this week.

There have been a further 761 cases of Covid-19 diagnosed in Wales, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 40,253.

Public Health Wales said 13 further deaths had been reported, with the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic rising to 1,756.

Boris Johnson meanwhile rejected calls from Keir Starmer at PMQs this week to implement similar measures, and also dismissed the idea during a Q&A session following a press conference at Downing Street.

Asked whether England would look at what lessons could be learned from circuit-breakers in Wales and Northern Ireland, Boris Johnson rejected the idea of another "national lockdown".

The Prime Minister said: "I think that that really would be economically, socially, psychologically really very damaging and difficult for the country."

However, On Saturday at midnight, South Yorkshire will also move into tier three restrictions - bringing the total number of people living under England's tightest rules to more than seven million.

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