Since the outbreak of the epidemic, the UK’s major statistics authority has recorded more than 175,000 fatalities caused by Covid.
Since March 2020, the ONS has recorded 176,035 fatalities in which the name “Covid” appears on the death certificate. The official government tally – which included over 150,000 fatalities over the weekend – requires patients to have a positive test within 28 days of their death, which is not the case for this population.
The ONS data are thought to be more precise, although they are not as current as government figures because of delays in death registration.
The mortality toll for 2021 is now down to 81,037 from 94,998 in 2020, according to the most recent data. Death tolls reported in the final week of 2017 may have been influenced by Christmas and Boxing Day bank holidays, therefore they have not yet been recorded, so estimates for more recent dates may be revised higher.
Deceased Covids to January 3, 2022
Since the first incidence of the Omicron form was detected in the UK on November 27th, 3,891 individuals have died from Covid. There is an average of 16-18 days between infection and death according to the ONS. This means that the Omicron death toll is expected to rise significantly in the coming weeks.
Despite an enormous increase in Omicron cases, the number of deaths this winter has not yet reached the peaks of prior waves. A record 246,000 cases were verified on the 29th of December, breaking previous records and bringing the seven-day average to 192,000.
In November and December this year, there were more than 7,000 deaths, compared to roughly 30,000 deaths in November and December 2020.
“We can expect both of these [death] figures [from the ONS and the government’s official count] to continue to rise for some time, reflecting the huge rises in infections that we’ve seen and the fact that cases have moved up the age ranges impacting more vulnerable older people,” said Kit Yates, co-director of the Centre for Mathematical Biology at the University of Bath.
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The death toll will not be as high as it was during the first wave, when we had more than 9,000 deaths a week,” he said. The vaccination/boost programme has been a major factor in preventing serious sickness and mortality, to a considerable extent.
This is a reduction from last week’s figure of 852, or 6.5% of all fatalities in the final week before Christmas Eve, when 852 deaths, or 6.5% of all deaths, included Covid as a cause of death.