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Coronavirus played a role in 40% more deaths in England and Wales than previously thought, the Office for National Statistics has revealed, with thousands dying with the virus in care homes.
Figures from the ONS showed that, of all the deaths in the two countries up to April 17, and registered to April 25, 22,300 involved Covid-19.
The death toll is 6,375 higher than previously reported by NHS England and Public Health Wales collectively, which only count deaths in hospital.
Data from the ONS – which includes deaths in care homes, hospices and private homes – showed 21,284 deaths related to Covid-19 in England, compared with the 15,293 reported by NHS England.
Meanwhile, the number of deaths reported by Public Health Wales was 384 fewer than counted by ONS.
Meanwhile, the weekly coronavirus figures showed that England and Wales saw its highest weekly death toll in almost 30 years in the week ending April 17, with coronavirus named as a factor in almost 40% of registered deaths.
Figures showed that 22,351 deaths were registered in the two countries for the week – the highest total recorded in a seven-day period since comparable figures began in 1993.
Covid-19 was a factor in 39.2% of these deaths, with the death certificates of 8,758 people mentioning “novel coronavirus”, the ONS said.
Unlike the coronavirus death toll published each day by the Department of Health and Social care, which only counts people who died in hospital, the ONS data also includes people who died in care homes, private homes and hospices.
Analysis showed that, while 77.4% of people died in hospital, there were 3,096 coronavirus-related deaths in care homes, 883 in people’s houses and 190 in hospices.
It was also revealed on Tuesday that more than 4,343 deaths in care homes related to Covid-19 had been reported by providers in England between April 10 and April 24.