Covid deaths down 97% from second wave peak as vaccines and lockdown kick in

Covid deaths in England and Wales have fallen 97 per cent since the peak of the second wave of the virus, new figures suggest.

Some age groups have recorded drops as high as 98 or 99 per cent as infections and hospital admissions are driven down.

A total of 266 deaths occurred in the week ending April 9 where Covid was recorded on the death certificate, data shows.

This is down 97 per cent from 8,965 deaths in the week to January 22, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

That figure was reached at the peak of the second wave, when more than a thousand deaths were taking place each day.

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Deaths involving Covid-19 in the UK
The UK saw its second wave peak in January

Analysis of ONS data by the PA news agency shows the age groups 75-79, 80-84 and 85-89 have also recorded drops of 97 per cent.

For people aged 65-69 the fall was 96 per cent and for those aged 60-64 it was 95 per cent, figures show.

And for people aged 90 and over the drop was even sharper, with a fall of 98 per cent from the second-wave peak.

For people in the 70-74 age group, deaths have dropped by 99 per cent.

A medical worker prepares a dose of Oxford/AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Antwerp, Belgium
The figures suggest the increasing take-up of vaccines has played a critical role

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The figures suggest the lockdowns since the start of the year and increasing take-up of vaccines have together played a critical role in limiting the spread of the virus among the population.

Lockdown restrictions are now being eased in both England and Wales, though it is too soon to see any consequences of these changes reflected in the data.

A total of 152,205 deaths have now occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, the ONS added.

The highest number of deaths to occur on a single day was 1,477 on January 19.

Behind the scenes at University Hospital Southampton during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic
A total of 152,205 deaths have now occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate

During the first wave of the virus, the daily death toll peaked at 1,461 deaths on April 8, 2020

Separate figures from the ONS show the total number of deaths registered in England and Wales have remained below the pre-pandemic average for the sixth consecutive week.

Some 10,438 deaths were registered in the week to April 16, 0.8 per cent below the average for the corresponding period in 2015-19.

Prior to the six most recent weeks, the last time deaths were below average was in the week to September 4, 2020.

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