COVID-19: Weekly deaths from coronavirus fall below 1,000 for first time since October

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Weekly registered coronavirus deaths in England and Wales have fallen to the lowest level since October, new figures show.

There were 963 deaths registered in the week ending 19 March where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is the lowest number since the week ending 16 October and the first time the weekly death toll has fallen below 1,000 since the following week.

The figure is down 36% on the previous week's total, with about one in 11 (9.3%) of all deaths registered in the latest week mentioning coronavirus on the death certificate.

The latest figures take the UK COVID-19 death toll to more than 150,000.

A total of 150,116 deaths have now occurred in the UK where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

The highest number of deaths to occur on a single day was 1,469 on 19 January. During the first wave of the virus, the daily death toll peaked at 1,461 deaths on 8 April.

Overall, 10,311 deaths were registered in the week to 12 March, 8.0% below the average for the corresponding period in 2015-19.

It is the second week in a row that the overall number of deaths has been below the five-year average.

Here are some of the other new figures released by the ONS:

• Deaths involving COVID-19 among people aged 80 and over have now fallen by 90% since the second-wave peak.

• A total of 536 COVID-19 deaths in the 80 and over age group occurred in England and Wales in the week ending 12 March, down from 5,349 deaths in the week ending 22 January.

• Deaths for those aged 75-79 dropped 88% in the same period, compared with falls of 87% for those aged 70-74 and 83% for both those aged 65-69 and 60-64.

• Around half of people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland were likely to have tested positive for antibodies in the week to 14 March, suggesting they had the infection in the past or had been vaccinated.

• Some 195 care home resident deaths involving COVID-19 in England and Wales were registered in the week to 19 March, down more than a third (35%) on the previous week.

• A total of 41,953 care home residents in England and Wales have now had coronavirus 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.