Latest wave of Covid-19 deaths peaked in mid-January, figures suggest

Ian Jones, PA
·3-min read

The second wave of coronavirus deaths in the UK hit a peak in the third week of January, new figures suggest.

A total of 1,404 deaths involving Covid-19 occurred on January 19, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is the highest daily death toll in the second wave so far.

Since January 19, the daily toll – based on the latest figures – has not been above 1,300.

HEALTH Coronavirus Deaths
(PA graphic)

The totals, including January 19, are likely to be revised upwards once all remaining deaths have been registered for January.

But the overall trend in the data suggests a rise in the daily death toll through to the middle of January, peaking in the third week before starting to fall by the end of the month.

The figures, which are based on mentions of Covid-19 on death certificates, also show there were 19 consecutive days in January – from January 7 to 25 – when the daily death toll was above 1,000.

During the first wave of the virus in April 2020, there were 23 consecutive days when the death toll – based on death certificates – was above 1,000.

Deaths peaked during the first wave on April 8, when 1,457 deaths occurred.

This is currently the highest number of deaths on a single day since the pandemic began.

HEALTH Coronavirus Deaths
(PA graphic)

Overall a total of 126,023 deaths had occurred in the UK by January 29 where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, according to the latest ONS data.

The grim milestone of 125,000 deaths was passed on January 28 – just 21 days since the cumulative total had passed 100,000 on January 7.

It took twice as long – 42 days – for the total to rise from 75,000 to 100,000.

HEALTH Coronavirus Deaths
(PA graphic)

While the record for the highest daily death toll was set during the first wave of the virus, the volume of deaths has been greater in the second wave.

Using the end of August 2020 as a dividing line between the first and second waves, the figures show 57,710 deaths took place in the first wave, while 68,313 deaths have so far taken place in the second wave.

The ONS data refers to all mentions of coronavirus on a death certificate, whether an underlying cause or not.

Around nine in 10 registered coronavirus deaths have Covid-19 listed as the underlying cause.

Separate figures published by the Government show that, as of February 8, 112,798 people had died in the UK within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19.

Some 8,433 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending January 29 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate – the second highest weekly number since the pandemic began.

The figure is up slightly from 8,422 deaths in the week to January 22.

Deaths involving Covid-19 in England and Wales
(PA Graphics)

Nearly half (45.7%) of all deaths registered in England and Wales in the week to January 29 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate – the highest proportion recorded during the pandemic.