England and Wales have recorded fewer weekly excess deaths than at any point since late March, analysis by the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) has found.
The CMI's latest mortality update shows that there were 18% more deaths between 16 May and 22 May of this year (week 21) than during the corresponding period for 2019.
Despite this fall, the analysis, based on data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), suggests there have now been around 64,500 more deaths since the start of the pandemic in the UK than during the same period last year.
Cobus Daneel, chair of the CMI Mortality Projections Committee, said: “The latest ONS data shows a decrease in ‘excess’ weekly deaths to the lowest level since late March.
“In the four weeks to 22 May, excess deaths have been very similar to COVID-19 deaths. Excess deaths were much higher than COVID-19 deaths in the earlier part of the pandemic.”
Owned by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, the CMI has been publishing weekly UK mortality analysis through its mortality monitor during the coronavirus crisis.
Its latest update shows that the cumulative mortality improvement in England & Wales for 2020 was 10.6% at 22 May 2020, compared to +0.1% on 20 March 2020 before coronavirus had a material impact.
More recent data issued by Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) for later periods suggests that this may fall further over the coming weeks.
The analysis comes after the World Health Organization warned that vital healthcare services are being disrupted globally as a result of COVID-19, which could be linked to excess deaths.
“We are continuing to investigate the number of non-COVID-19 related deaths and will publish detailed analysis on this on 5 June 2020,” the ONS said.
Author: Chris Seekings
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