Weekly registered deaths involving coronavirus have fallen below one hundred for the first time since the lockdown, in part due to the August bank holiday, official figures show.
There were 78 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending September 4, 23 fewer than the previous week, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
The bank holiday on August 31 would have contributed to a lower number of deaths registered that week, it said.
Its data shows dips in registered deaths from all causes in the weeks ending May 8 and May 29 – which both contained bank holidays.
It is the twentieth consecutive week that the number of registered deaths involving Covid-19 has fallen, and the lowest number since the week ending March 13, when five deaths were registered.
All figures are provisional and based on death registrations, which can result in a lag between the date the person dies and when it is recorded.
Over the past week daily cases have been rising, with one top scientist saying they are worried the UK may be “on the edge of losing control”.
It is not yet known how this will impact deaths, given the time it takes for someone to become infected with Covid-19 and for symptoms to appear, and for that person to then become ill enough to be admitted to hospital and either recover or die.
The ONS figures show there were 74 deaths involving coronavirus in England in the week ending September 4, four in Wales, three in Northern Ireland and two in Scotland.
The overall number of deaths registered was below the five-year average in all regions in England, and Wales.
While deaths in hospitals, care homes and other locations were below the five-year average, deaths in private homes continue to exceed it.
Some 52,420 deaths involving Covid-19 had occurred in England and Wales up to September 4, and had been registered by September 12.
Figures published last week by the National Records for Scotland showed that 4,231 deaths involving Covid-19 had been registered in Scotland up to September 6, while 877 deaths had occurred in Northern Ireland up to September 4 (and had been registered up to September 9), according to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency.
Together, these figures mean that so far 57,528 deaths have been registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, including suspected cases.