United Kingdom

Every region of England saw ZERO Covid deaths at least once during the final week of April

Every region in England saw zero Covid deaths at least once in the final week of April, official figures revealed today.

Office for National Statistics data showed 205 fatalities had the virus mentioned on their death certificates in England and Wales over the seven days to April 30, half the more than 400 at the start of the month.

Only 140 listed Covid as the underlying cause of death, less than half the 300 that were blamed on flu and pneumonia. Fatalities from the common illnesses overtook those down to Covid in the penultimate week of April for the first time since the second wave took off.

Daily occurrences suggested just 104 Covid deaths registered actually happened in the final week of April, but statisticians warn this number is likely to rise next week as more fatalities are registered. It can take more than two weeks to process the necessary paperwork to record a fatality. 

Deaths from all causes - including dementia, heart disease and Covid - remained below the five-year average for the number expected at this time of year for the eighth week in a row.

The promising figures come after England recorded no deaths due to the virus yesterday for the first time since July, and as the burgeoning vaccination drive inoculates two in three Britons, or 35.4million people. 

Experts say the jabs are now doing much of the heavy lifting in driving down Covid fatalities, although they add curbs on movements are also helping to keep the disease at bay by strangling the spread of the virus.

Boris Johnson confirmed England would steam ahead with its next stage of lockdown easing yesterday, which will see bars and restaurants serve indoors again, larger gatherings permitted, and holidays abroad restart.

But the Prime Minister refused to be drawn on whether he would speed up plans to relax further restrictions despite reams of positive data suggesting the worst of the pandemic is firmly behind the country.

Gloomy SAGE scientists warned in papers published yesterday that Britain would likely face a third wave of Covid hospitalisations and deaths 'at some point', although this was unlikely to be as severe as in January 2021. 

ONS data records Covid deaths by daily occurrences, which is the number of deaths that took place on a particular day rather than the number registered.

Experts say most deaths are registered within a week, but some can take considerably longer to be processed and placed on official statistics.

Their count lags by almost two weeks because statisticians need to go through every death certificate to identify all those that mention the virus. It is considered more accurate than the daily deaths figures from the Department of Health, because it takes into account deaths from all settings.

The South West and East Midlands both saw three days with zero Covid deaths in the last week of April, the highest number recorded.

The West Midlands and East of England went two days with no Covid deaths, while the North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, London and the South East also went one day.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also had at least one day with no deaths involving the virus at the end of April, but England did not have a single 24-hour period with no Covid fatalities. 

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