25 October 2022

Covid-19 death registrations continue to rise but levels remain low

25 October 2022

Covid-19 death registrations in England and Wales have risen for the third week in a row, but levels remain well below those seen in the early part of the pandemic.

A total of 565 deaths registered in the seven days to October 14 mentioned coronavirus on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is up 41% on the previous week and is the highest number since the seven days to August 12.

The rise is being driven by the latest wave of Covid-19 infections, which has been under way since the start of September.

There are early signs the current wave may be peaking, but it will be a while before this has an impact on death registrations.

This is because the trend in deaths lags behind the equivalent trend in infections due to the length of time between someone catching the virus and becoming seriously ill, as well as the time it takes for deaths to be registered.

During the previous wave of infections in the summer, deaths peaked at 810 in the week ending July 29.

This was well below the numbers seen during the early waves of the pandemic, when weekly deaths peaked around 10 times this level.

High levels of Covid antibodies among the population – either from vaccination or previous infection – mean the number of people seriously ill or dying from the virus this year has stayed low.

Figures published last week by the ONS showed that Covid-19 infections are continuing to rise in both England and Wales, though the rate of increase may be slowing.

In England, the number of people in private households testing positive for coronavirus in the week to October 10 was 1.7 million, or around one in 30 – up from 1.5 million, or one in 35, in the previous week.

The latest estimate for infections in Wales is 117,600, or one in 25 people, up from 74,900, or one in 40.

Infection levels are still some way below those reached during the summer wave.

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