Covid-19 weekly deaths in England and Wales fall to half of Omicron peak

The figures suggest Covid-19 deaths are now on a clear downwards trend

Published

The number of Covid-19 deaths has drastically fallen to approximately half the level seen at the end of January this year.

766 deaths that mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate were registered in the last week of February according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This is compared to 1,484 deaths reported the month prior in January during the peak of the Omicron wave of infections.

This is a 48 percent decrease. It is now also the fifth week in a row that Covid-19 deaths have decreased.

Deaths involving Covid-19 in England & Wales
Deaths involving Covid-19 in England & Wales

The figures suggest Covid-19 deaths are now on a clear downwards trend, following the rise in December and early January that was driven by the Omicron variant.

Deaths during the recent wave remained well below the level reached during the second wave of the pandemic a year ago, however.

Some 8,433 deaths involving Covid-19 were registered in England and Wales in the week to January 29 2021.

This was nearly six times the 1,484 deaths registered in the peak week of the current wave.

The relatively low number of deaths during the Omicron wave reflects the success of the vaccination programme, in particular the rollout of booster doses at the end of last year.

Vaccine effectiveness against mortality with the Omicron variant for people aged 50 and over is estimated to be 95 percent at two or more weeks after a booster jab, compared with around 60 percent at 25-plus weeks after a second dose, according to the UK Health Security Agency.

Overall, a total of 186,419 deaths have now occurred in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate, the ONS said.

The highest number on a single day was 1,487 on January 19 2021.

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

Around nine in 10 deaths with Covid-19 on the death certificate since the start of the pandemic have coronavirus as the primary cause of death, with a minority listing the virus as a contributory factor.