Covid-19 weekly deaths in England and Wales fall to lowest level since July 2021
The number of deaths involving coronavirus registered each week in England and Wales has dropped to its lowest level for 10 months.
A total of 410 deaths registered in the seven days to May 27 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
This is down 25% on the previous week and is the lowest total since the week ending July 30 2021.
It is the fourth week in a row the figures have decreased and confirms that Covid-19 deaths are now on a clear downwards trend.
The surge of infections earlier this year driven by the Omicron BA.2 variant caused the weekly number of deaths to peak at 1,125 at the end of April.
But this was well below the 8,433 deaths registered at the peak of the second wave of the virus, in the week to January 29 2021.
The number of people with Covid-19 on their death certificate is now the only measure of coronavirus mortality in all four nations of the UK.
Health authorities in Scotland and Northern Ireland have recently stopped reporting the number of people who have died within 28 days of testing positive, which had been the Government’s preferred benchmark for the UK’s official death toll.
Both authorities said changes in Covid-19 testing policy influenced the decision to stop reporting the data.
People with coronavirus symptoms are no longer advised to test themselves regularly, while access to free tests is limited to only a small part of the population in all four nations.
This means that data based just on positive tests is not likely to reflect the true prevalence of coronavirus in the community or the real level of mortality.
Figures for deaths within 28 days of a positive test are still being reported for England and Wales, however.
Overall, 198,332 deaths have now occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, the ONS said.
The highest number on a single day was 1,488, on January 19 2021.
During the first wave of the virus, the daily toll peaked at 1,461 on April 8 2020.
Around nine in 10 deaths with Covid-19 on the death certificate since the start of the pandemic have coronavirus as the primary cause of death, with a minority listing the virus as a contributory factor.