Covid was blamed on more than one in 20 of all deaths in England and Wales at the start of August, official data revealed today.
Some 527 death certificates mentioned the coronavirus in the week ending August 6 — up 30.4 per cent on the 404 in the seven days prior.
This equated to around one in 20 fatalities registered (5.2 per cent) involving the virus — the highest proportion since March, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Additionally, it marked the eighth consecutive week that the proportion of deaths blamed on Covid has been on rise in England and Wales.
In total, 9,537 deaths were registered in England that week, 13.1 per cent above the five-year average, while there was 634 recorded deaths in Wales, 10.8 per cent higher than the average.
The figures reflect the impact of the country’s third wave of Covid, which was sparked by the highly-transmissible Indian variant which began spreading in mid-May.
Death figures lag behind trends in infection rates by around three weeks because of how long it takes for people to catch the virus and become ill enough to need NHS treatment. The ONS figures are delayed by a further week and a half due to how long it can take to process fatalities.
It comes as latest daily figures show the rolling seven-day average deaths from Covid now stands at 89, a fraction of the 1,248 figure in January when cases were only just slightly higher.
Britain’s daily Covid cases jump by 13% in a week to 28,438 but deaths fall by almost a third to 26
Britain’s daily Covid cases are continuing to creep upwards but deaths have levelled off, official figures revealed yesterday.
Department of Health bosses posted 28,438 positive coronavirus tests, up 13 per cent in a week.
Infections have now been ticking upwards for ten days.
And hospital admissions in England are still rising slowly, other data suggests. Another 689 Covid patients needed medical treatment on Saturday — up 9 per cent on the 630 the week before.
Meanwhile, today’s fatality count was nearly a third lower than last Monday’s with another 26 victims added to the Government’s official toll — compared to 37 last week.
Day-to-day counts can fluctuate heavily, especially on Mondays because of the weekend registration lag.
The relatively low number of deaths in the third wave so far, when compared with the second wave of the virus, reflects the success of the roll-out of the country’s jab roll-out.
Covid vaccinations have prevented between 81,300 and 87,800 deaths in England alone, health chiefs estimate.
Of the 527 deaths registered across the two nations, the majority (411, 78 per cent), occurred in the over-60s.
And the fatalities tended to drop through the age groups, with 58 deaths recorded among people in their 50s, 29 among people in their 40s, 22 in people in their 30s and five in people in their 20s.
One child aged between five and nine died with the virus, as well as a baby less than one-year-old.
Across England, deaths from all causes increased from 9,481 to 9,537 in the most recent week.
Fatalities increased in five of the nine regions of the country, with the largest hike being seen in the South East, which recorded 51 more deaths.
And deaths linked with the virus rose in all regions apart from Yorkshire and the Humber, where fatalities linked with the virus dropped from 65 to 57.
The biggest rise in Covid-related deaths was seen in the South East, where the figure more than doubled in a week, from 25 to 56.
Meanwhile, the number of people dying in Wales dropped from 641 to 634, but those that mentioned Covid rose from 13 to 22. This equates to 3.5 per cent of all deaths in Wales involving the virus.
Across the UK, deaths were higher than the five year average across all nations.
England had the highest number of deaths involving the virus (502 deaths), followed by Scotland (51 deaths), Northern Ireland (31 deaths) and Wales (22 deaths).
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 142,499 of the 851,469 deaths recorded in England and Wales had Covid mentioned on their death certificate (16.7 per cent). And in the same period, 107,177 excess deaths have been recorded.
In England, 16.8 per cent of the 798,467 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic mention the virus.
Meanwhile, 15.3 per cent of the 51,962 people who died in Wales had Covid written on their death certificate.
And hospital admissions in England are still rising slowly, other data suggests. Another 689 Covid patients needed medical treatment on Saturday — up 9 per cent on the 630 the week before