There have been 63,000 more deaths in the UK since the start of the coronavirus pandemic than there were during the same period last year, the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) has confirmed.
Based on the figures from the Office for National Statistics, the CMI's latest mortality update also shows that there were 4% more deaths between 30 May and 5 June (week 23) of this year than during the corresponding period for 2019.
This is down significantly on the 17% rise in 'excess deaths' recorded in week 22, and 18% increase in week 21.
The CMI explained how, since week 21, the number of deaths registered with COVID-19 mentioned on the death certificate has exceeded the number of excess deaths seen relative to 2019.
As such, it said it would prefer not to focus on excess deaths any more as variations in non-COVID deaths are playing a bigger role, and could easily overshadow a relatively low number of COVID-19 deaths.
Cobus Daneel, chair of the CMI Mortality Projections Committee said: “In recent weeks we’ve seen death registrations decline to the extent that ‘COVID-19 deaths’ exceed ‘excess’ deaths.
“There could be a number of reasons for this, including improvements in non-COVID mortality rates, attribution of deaths to COVID-19 that would have occurred in any case due to another cause, ‘forward mortality displacement’, or just plain statistical noise.
“At this stage of the pandemic, we prefer to focus on registered rather than estimated figures.”
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 -11.0% on 5 June 2020, compared to +0.1% on 20 March 2020.
This comes after professional services firm Aon urged pension schemes not to overreact to high short-term UK mortality data, saying that there are potential COVID-19 outcomes that could result in higher life expectancy.
“These could include increased spending on health and social care, and a potential hardening of the UK to future pandemics,” said Tim Gordon, head of Demographic Horizons in Aon’s Risk Settlement Group
“On top of this, the socio-economic profile of pension schemes means that their liabilities are typically partially insulated from the variations we see in national mortality statistics.
Author: Chris Seekings
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