Mortality rates in England and Wales are currently similar to those recorded in 2019, despite a recent increase in COVID-19 deaths, analysis by the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) has found.
The CMI's latest mortality update shows that there were 0.8% less deaths in England and Wales between 26 September and 9 October (weeks 40 and 41) than during the corresponding period last year.
Over the previous fortnight – weeks 38 and 39 – mortality was 0.4% lower than expected.
This is despite the number of deaths with COVID-19 mentioned on the death certificate increasing from under 100 in each of weeks 36 and 37, to 438 in week 41.
Cobus Daneel, chair of the CMI Mortality Projections Committee, said: “Despite the recent increase in COVID-19 deaths, overall mortality in recent weeks has remained at a similar level to 2019.”
Owned by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, the CMI has been publishing analysis of the UK's mortality rate during the coronavirus crisis through its mortality monitor, which is based on figures from the Office for National Statistics.
Its latest update shows that the cumulative mortality improvement in England and Wales for 2020 was –10.4% at 9 October, compared to +0.1% at 20 March, before the coronavirus pandemic had a material impact.
Overall, the CMI estimates that there have been around 60,500 excess deaths in the UK between the start of the crisis and 9 October.
This comes after it revealed earlier this month that the number of deaths in England and Wales between July and September of 2020 was lower than in any other quarter on record.
“Despite the September increase in coronavirus cases and hospitalisations, mortality in Q3 2020 remained at a similar level to Q3 2019,” said Daneel. “We will continue to closely monitor the figures.”
The CMI intends to publish its next mortality monitor for weeks 42 and 43 on 3 November 2020.
Image credit: iStock
Author: Chris Seekings