Coronavirus deaths FELL for the first time since September in England’s last full week of lockdown

Covid deaths FELL for the first time since September in England’s last full week of lockdown, ONS data shows – as other figures show second wave fatalities peaked in mid-November

  • Deaths occurring in England and Wales appeared to hit peak of 2,808 in week to November 20, now falling
  • Office for National Statistics report shows that there were 2,713 fatalities between November 21 and 27
  • Three per cent decline was the first time since the start of September that deaths had come down
  • Death registrations, which are slower to change than actual occurrences, continued to rise above average


Coronavirus deaths in England and Wales dropped for the first time since September in the last full week of lockdown, statistics show.

Today’s Office for National Statistics report showed 2,713 people had Covid-19 mentioned on their death certificate in the week between November 21 and 27, which was down from 2,808 a week earlier.  

The three per cent drop, shown in the count by actual date of death, was the first time in 12 weeks that the number of people dying had fallen in England and Wales.

Death numbers tend to spike around three weeks after infections do, because of the time it takes for victims to become seriously ill and then die.

So a peak in deaths almost three weeks into the national lockdown – in the week up to November 20 – shows that the outbreak was at its largest and most rampant at the start of November, just before the shutdown started. Scientists at the time estimated that between 50,000 and 100,000 people were getting infected each day.

And it suggests lockdown worked, bringing infections under control around a month ago which is now translating into fewer people going into hospital and dying. 

The ONS report also shows that coronavirus is now accounting for one in every four deaths in England and Wales, while fewer people than normal are dying of other causes. 

Total deaths are above average in all places, however, pushed up by Covid deaths, and over 35,000 more people than usual have died in private homes this year as many have avoided or been unable to get life-saving medical care.

The ONS report published today showed that coronavirus death occurrences – which are counted by date of death – declined for the first time since the week that ended on September 4.

A total of 2,713 were recorded between November 21 and 27, down from 2,808 to November 20, but still higher than any other week since May and up from 2,584 in the week to November 13.

Another measure used by the ONS – death registrations – counts how many deaths are recorded in each week by the date on which the record is filed, not the person’s actual day of death.

This data showed that Covid fatalities continued to rise in the week to November 27, up 13 per cent from 2,697 to 3,040 in seven days which was the 12th week in a row that it increased.

But the day of death count aligns with data from Public Health England, which suggests fatalities peaked in the third week of November. England’s lockdown ran from November 5 to December 2.

PHE’s statistics on the Government dashboard show that the seven-day average count of Covid deaths, by date of death, peaked on November 21 at 400 a day, and has been falling continuously since. England’s one-day high was 435 deaths on November 18.