COVID-19: Deaths involving coronavirus rise for sixth successive week in England and Wales, ONS says

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Deaths involving COVID in England and Wales have risen for the sixth successive week, figures show.

A total of 1,042 deaths registered in the seven days to 22 April mentioned COVID-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The continuing rise comes despite the latest figures covering a period that includes the Easter Monday bank holiday, when most register offices were closed.

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The figure is up 4% week-on-week and is the highest number recorded since the seven days to 11 February.

Deaths also increased by 4% in the previous week.

The latest figures would likely have been higher as they were affected by Good Friday on 15 April and bank holiday Monday on 18 April, when very few deaths were registered.

The data suggests deaths involving coronavirus are continuing on a slow upwards trend, though they remain well below levels previously seen during the pandemic.

The rise in the death toll follows the recent surge in infections driven by the Omicron BA.2 variant.

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Infections are currently estimated to be falling across the country after peaking in March, but the prevalence of COVID remains high, the ONS said.

There were 1,484 weekly deaths registered at the peak of the initial Omicron wave in January this year.

The latest figures are also some way below the 8,433 deaths registered at the peak of the second wave of the virus in the week to 29 January 2021.

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Overall, 194,868 deaths have now occurred in the UK where COVID was mentioned on the death certificate, the ONS added.

Around nine in 10 deaths with COVID on the death certificate since the start of the pandemic have coronavirus as the primary cause of death, with only a minority listing the virus as a contributory factor.

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