Ian Payne 4am - 7am
Coronavirus deadlier than flu and pneumonia combined, ONS figures show
8 October 2020, 09:54 | Updated: 8 October 2020, 10:30
Coronavirus is deadlier than flu and pneumonia, killing three times as many people in the first eight months of the year, according to the latest ONS figures that were released today.
The ONS said age-standardised and age-specific mortality rates for deaths due to COVID-19 were "statistically significantly higher than mortality rates due to influenza and pneumonia" when compared with the five-year average and 2020 rates.
There were 48,168 deaths due to COVID-19 in England and Wales between January and August 2020, compared with 13,619 due to pneumonia and 394 due to flu.
In care homes, the proportion of deaths due to Covid-19 (30%) was almost double those due to flu and pneumonia (15.2%), the ONS said.
The highest number of deaths due to influenza and pneumonia occurred in January 2020 but influenza and pneumonia deaths were below the five-year average (2015 to 2019) in every month.
Deaths due to coronavirus were higher than deaths due to influenza and pneumonia between March and June.
Sarah Caul, ONS Head of Mortality Analysis said: “More than three times as many deaths were recorded between January and August this year where COVID-19 was the underlying cause compared to influenza and pneumonia."
“The mortality rate for COVID-19 is also significantly higher than influenza and pneumonia rates for both 2020 and the five-year average."
“Since 1959, which is when ONS monthly death records began, the number of deaths due to influenza and pneumonia in the first eight months of every year have been lower than the number of COVID-19 deaths seen, so far, in 2020.”