Deaths in England and Wales fall below five-year average for first time in six months

23 March 2021, 13:40 | Updated: 23 March 2021, 15:45

149,117 deaths have now occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate
149,117 deaths have now occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

The number of deaths in England and Wales has fallen below average for the first time in sixth months, figures show.

There were 10,987 deaths from all causes registered in the week ending March 12, down 605 from the previous week, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

This is 511 deaths (4.4%) below the five-year average - the average number of deaths registered in the same week between 2015 and 2019.

It is the first time since the week ending September 4 that overall deaths have fallen below the five-year average.

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In total, 149,117 deaths have now occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

It comes on the year anniversary of the UK's first lockdown, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson today reflecting on a "dark and difficult year".

There were 1,501 registered deaths involving coronavirus in the week ending March 12.

This is a fall of 28.7% from the previous week and the lowest number since the week ending October 30.

Deaths involving coronavirus among people aged 80 and over have fallen by 91% since the second-wave peak.

A total of 496 Covid-19 deaths occurred in that age group in England and Wales in the week ending March 12, down from 5,342 deaths in the week ending January 22.

Deaths for those aged 75 to 79 dropped 89% in the same period, compared with falls of 88% for those aged 70 to 74 and 85% in the 65 to 69 and 60 to 64 age categories.

People aged 80 and over were the second group on the vaccine priority list, with doses being offered from early December.

Registered deaths of care home residents involving Covid-19 also fell, by more than a third (36%) compared to the previous week, to 300.

A total of 41,758 care home residents in England and Wales have now had Covid-19 recorded on their death certificate since the pandemic began.

The ONS figures cover deaths of care home residents in all settings, not just in care homes.

The highest number of deaths to occur on a single day in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate was 1,465 on January 19.

During the first wave of the virus, the daily death toll peaked at 1,459 deaths on April 8.