COVID-19: Deaths in England and Wales down 99% from second wave peak

Deaths involving COVID-19 in England and Wales have fallen by 99% from the peak of the second wave of the virus in January, new figures show.

A total of 125 deaths occurred in the week ending 30 April where coronavirus was recorded on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

This is down 99% from 8,979 deaths in the week to 22 January when more than 1,000 deaths were taking place each day.

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Most age groups are now seeing the lowest number of deaths for nearly eight months, as the combined impact since January of lockdown restrictions and the vaccine rollout continue to drive down the number of infections and hospital admissions.

The figures suggest that the lockdown introduced across England and Wales at the start of the year did help stop the spread of the virus.

Over 36 million people in the UK have received the first dose of a vaccine and it is becoming clear that the vaccinations are playing a crucial role in reducing serious illness from the disease.

Analysis of the ONS data by the PA news agency shows the age groups 75-79 and 80 and over have both recorded drops of 99%, while for people aged 60-64, 65-69 and 70-74 the fall is 98%.

Some 61 deaths involving COVID-19 among people aged 80 and over occurred in the week to 30 April, the lowest since the week to 11 September 2020.

The equivalent number for people aged 90 and over is 19 deaths: the lowest since the week to 4 September.

And for people aged 70 and over, the number of deaths in the week to 30 April was 93, the first time the total has dropped below 100 since 11 September.

Deaths that occurred in the most recent week of reporting, the week to 7 May, are still being registered.

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Research published last week by Public Health England indicated that around 11,700 deaths among people aged 60 and over in England were prevented by COVID-19 vaccinations up to the end of April, including 9,900 for those aged 80 and over.

An estimated 3,900 hospital admissions were prevented in those aged 65 to 74, along with 13,100 in those aged 75 to 84 and 16,000 in those aged 85 and older.

Across the UK as a whole, a total of 152,919 deaths have now occurred since the start of the pandemic where COVID-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.

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