The number of weekly Covid-19 deaths registered in England and Wales has fallen to the lowest level since the start of 2021, figures have shown.
According to data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 4,079 coronavirus-related deaths were registered in the week ending 19 February – the latest period for which the data is available. This is a reduction of 28.3 per cent compared to the previous week.
Figures also revealed that deaths involving Covid-19 in those over the age of 80 have fallen particularly steeply, dropping by 56 per cent from the week ending 29 January to the week ending 19 February.
This compared to a reduction of 50 per cent for those between the ages of 70 and 79 and 40 per cent for those under 70.
There was also a 10 per cent fall in the overall number of deaths from all causes, compared to the previous week. However, this figure is still 2,182 higher than the average expected for this time of year.
Across England, all regions experienced a fall in the number of Covid related deaths registered. The number of deaths was highest in the southeast of England, although this was down by 35 per cent on the previous week.
Meanwhile, for those in care, 969 residents were registered as having died from a Covid-related cause in the latest figures. This was down more than a third compared to the previous week.
These figures cover deaths of care home residents, not just in care homes, but in all settings.
Dr Layla McCay, director of policy at the NHS Confederation, said the decline in the number of deaths was “reassuring”.
She said: “We must ensure this downward trend continues, and remain cautious, especially as schools are reopened next week and restrictions are eased over the coming months.
“We cannot afford to lose steam and would urge the government to maintain its cautious approach, especially as some local authority areas report slight increases in cases, and as the more transmissible Brazilian variant found in the UK is a cause for concern.”