The number of registered deaths in England and Wales has fallen below the average for this time of year for the first time in six months, figures show.
There were 10,987 deaths from all causes registered in the week ending March 12, down 605 deaths 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 during this week between 2015-19.
And it is the first time since the week ending September 4 that overall deaths have fallen below the five-year average.
There were 1,501 registered deaths involving coronavirus in the week ending March 12 – a fall of 28.7% from the previous week.
It is the lowest number since the week ending October 30.
Deaths involving Covid-19 among people aged 80 and over have fallen by 91% since the second-wave peak.
A total of 496 Covid-19 deaths in the 80-and-over age group occurred 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 75-79 dropped 89% in the same period, compared with falls of 88% for those aged 70-74 and 85% for both those aged 65-69 and 60-64.
People aged 80 and over were the second group on the priority list for Covid-19 vaccines, with doses being offered from early December.
Registered Covid-19 deaths of care home residents, who were in the first vaccine priority group, also fell, by more than a third (36%) to 300 in the week to March 12.
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.
And overall, 149,117 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 1,465 on January 19.
During the first wave of the virus, the daily death toll peaked at 1,459 deaths on April 8.