UK now has highest coronavirus death toll in Europe


Over 30,00 deaths involving Covid-19 have occurred in the UK since the start of the pandemic, the highest official toll yet reported in Europe.

Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed 29,648 deaths linked to coronavirus had taken place in England and Wales as of 24 April.

Including deaths for Scotland and Northern Ireland, the toll on this measure now amounts to 32,313.

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According to the ONS report, of the deaths registered up to 24 April, 71.8 per cent (19,643 deaths) occurred in hospital. 5,890 deaths took place in care homes, 1,306 in private homes and 301 in hospices. This represents a fall of 12.6 per cent in hospital deaths, but an increase of 2,500 deaths in care home deaths compared to the week before.

Deaths involving Covid-19 in England that occurred up to 24 April, but were registered up to 2 May, stood at 28,272, said the report. In comparison, the number of deaths reported by the Department of Health and Social Care was 21,399 and NHS England showed 19,033 hospital deaths.

The ONS figures include deaths in hospitals and care homes. Previously, daily figures on new coronavirus cases and deaths published by Public Health England (PHE) included only hospital deaths. 

PHE only began reporting Covid-19-related deaths in all settings at the end of April, in order to complement figures released by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and the ONS.

The data revealed that the number of deaths registrations had fallen by 350 from the week ending on 17 April, but the figures are still double the five-year average for this period.

In London, over half (50.5 per cent) of all deaths registered involved coronavirus. The northwest and northeast of England also had a high proportion of coronavirus-related deaths, which accounted for 38.8 per cent and 38 per cent of fatalities in the regions respectively.

Coronavirus was involved in 36.7 per cent (413) of all deaths registered in Wales in the same period.

No deaths were recorded in anyone aged 14 or under in the week ending 24 April, but the highest proportion of deaths – 40.2 per cent – were among those aged 75 to 84 years of age.

Nick Stripe, head of health analysis at the ONS, said: “Based on actual date of deaths in all settings, so far there were 1,000+ Covid-related deaths from 4 April – 18 April. 8 April is currently the highest total – 1,318 deaths. Date for death data for later dates is still coming in due to lags in death registrations.”

The ONS said the numbers are based on where Covid-19 is mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, including in combination with other health conditions.

It comes as separate data showed care homes notified the Care Quality Commission (CQC) of 6,391 deaths of residents in homes between April 10 and May 1.

Additional reporting by agencies

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