Get the latest on coronavirus. Sign up to the Daily Brief for news, explainers, how-tos, opinion and more.
Coronavirus was a factor in almost 5% of all deaths in England and Wales in the week leading up to March 27, figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed – 539 cases in total.
It represents a significant week-on-week jump in coronavirus-related deaths, with Covid-19 mentioned on just 103 of death certificates the week before – around 1%.
The new statistics include people dying outside of hospitals whose death certificates mentioned Covid-19, including in combination with other health conditions, whereas national figures only include patients who have died in hospital.
Of the deaths registered that week, 539 mentioned “novel coronavirus”, which is 4.8% of all deaths, the ONS said.
Almost 93% of those, some 501 deaths, took place in hospital, the ONS said. The rest occurred in hospices, care homes and at private homes.
However, the ONS figures are lower than the death toll reported by the Department of Health and Social Care in the same week – 739 – due to delays in reporting.
Overall, the provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending March 27 was 11,141 – an increase of more than 1,000 on the five-year-average.
The ONS also released separate figures on Tuesday about the ages of people in England and Wales who have died after contracting Covid-19.
According to the new data, of the 647 deaths registered before March 27, 36% were aged 85 or over.
People aged 75 to 84 accounted for 33% of the deaths, while 19% were aged 65 to 74.
People in the 45 to 64 age group accounted for 11% of deaths, while just 1% were aged between 15 and 44.