UK coronavirus deaths fall to lowest weekly level in six weeks

The number of excess deaths registered in the UK during the Covid-19 outbreak is almost 60,000, figures suggest, underlining Britain’s status as one of the worst-hit countries in Europe.

The Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday there had been 53,960 excess deaths in England and Wales from the start of the outbreak to 15 May.

In the two weeks to 15 May there were 27,230 deaths from all causes in England and Wales, 38% above the five-year average for the period. This was down from 80.6% in the preceding week, showing a falling rate of excess deaths.

There were 4,210 deaths involving Covid-19 registered in England and Wales in the week ending 15 May, the fewest since the week ending 3 April.

Scotland recorded 4,434 excess deaths in Scotland between 23 March and 17 May, and Northern Ireland recorded 834 excess deaths between 21 March and 15 May, giving a total for the UK of 59,228 up to 17 May.

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Details released from a separate ONS survey of the social impact of coronavirus, meanwhile, reveal that almost one-third of people in Britain lived with someone who self-isolated because of the pandemic in April, the month in which Dominic Cummings drove his family 250 miles north from their home in London.

The same study found people in London had the lowest awareness of the government’s “stay at home” guidelines in April, while awareness was highest in the West Midlands.

Overall, the proportion of all deaths that involve Covid-19 and the number of excess deaths compared with the five-year average continue to decrease.

The total number of deaths from all causes rose by 1,916 to 14,573 in the week ending 15 May, after a dip as a result of the early May bank holiday in the previous week.

The disease was mentioned on the death certificates of 42,173 people in England and Wales up to 15 May, the ONS data shows.

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The latest figures from the National Records of Scotland showed 3,546 deaths involving Covid-19 had been registered in Scotland up to 17 May, and data from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency showed 664 coronavirus-linked deaths had been registered up to 20 May.

This indicates there have been more than 46,383 UK deaths registered where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate. The ONS data includes suspected cases where there has been no positive test for coronavirus.

Other findings from the survey on the social impact found that 80% of adults were worried about the effect the pandemic was having on their life. People in the north-east, which includes County Durham, felt the most worried of any region.

The south-west was described by the ONS as the “most neighbourly area”, with 64% of people saying they checked on their neighbours at least once in April, compared with London where 48% had done so.

About half of people in Scotland and the north-east thought their household finances would remain the same in the coming 12 months, while those in London and the south-east were more pessimistic, with almost half (48%) saying they expected their household finances to worsen.

People aged 16 to 34 were less worried than older age groups.

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