Mortality rates in the UK have been above 2019 levels for the sixth successive week, with more than 5,000 'excess' deaths recorded during the country's second wave of coronavirus infections.
That is according to analysis by the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI), which estimates that there were around 66,500 more deaths between the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and 20 November 2020 than during the same period last year.
This is up from the 64,900 estimate reported by the CMI last week, with mortality in England and Wales 13% higher between 14 November and 20 November (week 47) than during the corresponding week for 2019.
The increase was also 13% in week 46, 9% in week 45, 6% in both 44 and 43, and 2% in week 42.
Based on data from the Office for National Statistics, the CMI's latest update also shows that the number of deaths with COVID-19 mentioned on the death certificate has increased from under 100 in week 37, to 2,697 in week 47.
“A sixth consecutive week of excess deaths has taken the total for the second wave to over 5,000,” said Cobus Daneel, chair of the CMI Mortality Projections Committee. “This is much less than in the corresponding period of the first wave.”
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.
It estimates that the cumulative mortality improvement in England and Wales for 2020 was -11.5% on 20 November, compared to +0.1% on 20 March.
The latest figures for excess deaths contrast sharply with the figures for weeks 38, 39, 40 and 41, when mortality was slightly lower than expected.
The CMI also revealed last 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.
It intends to publish its next mortality monitor for week 48 on 8 December 2020.
Image credit: iStock
Author: Chris Seekings