The number of deaths registered in England and Wales in week two of 2021 was 5,000 higher than in the corresponding week of 2019, the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) has revealed.
This means that mortality was 39% higher than would be expected between 9 and 15 January 2021, during which time there were 7,245 COVID-19-related deaths recorded, up from 6,057 the previous week.
Based on figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the CMI's latest update also reveals that there have been around 85,200 'excess' deaths in the UK between the start of the pandemic and 15 January 2021.
However, the ONS data shows that coronavirus deaths have now surpassed the 100,000 mark.
“This week’s data makes it clear that, following uneven death registrations over the holiday period, excess weekly deaths continue to increase, with 5,000 in week two, and over 24,000 so far in the second wave,” said Cobus Daneel, chair of the CMI Mortality Projections Committee.
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 treats deaths during the pandemic as those recorded from 29 February 2020, while those in the second wave are registrations since 12 September 2020.
The latest update comes after the CMI revealed earlier this month that the annual increase in deaths across England and Wales in 2020 was higher than in any year since the Great Depression.
However, it said last month that it would place no weight on 2020 data when it releases its next model for projecting UK mortality rates, which is expected in March.
This is due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on death rates, which have been well outside the range of year-on-year changes seen over the past four decades.
While 2020 data will affect actuarial calculations, the CMI said that this is likely to be an outlier, and not indicative of the future path that mortality rates will follow.
“Once the model has been released, users will be able to adjust various model parameters to reflect their views,” Daneel said. “This will allow them to place partial or full weight on the 2020 data if they wish.”
Image credit: iStock
Author: Chris Seekings