Mortality levels in England and Wales are close to what they were before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Continuous Mortality Investigation (CMI) has revealed.
The CMI's latest update shows that there were 100 more deaths between 22 and 28 January (week four) of this year than during the corresponding week of 2019. This means that mortality was just 1% higher than would normally be expected.
However, despite 'excess' mortality now being relatively low, the analysis shows that there were still 1,385 COVID-19-related deaths during the fourth week of this year.
“In the second half of 2021, the number of excess deaths was similar to the number of deaths with COVID-19 mentioned on the death certificate,” explained Cobus Daneel, chair of the CMI's Mortality Projections Committee.
“However, the picture is very different in weeks two to four of 2022 – with nearly 5,000 mentions of COVID-19 on UK death certificates, but fewer than 400 excess deaths.
“This shows that while COVID has contributed to a significant number of deaths, overall mortality is similar to the pre-pandemic level for the time of year.”
Owned by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, the CMI has been publishing analysis of the UK's mortality rates during the coronavirus crisis through its mortality monitor, based on data from the Office for National Statistics.
The latest update comes after it recently revealed that death rates over the last two years have risen at the worst rate recorded sine WWII.
Overall, the CMI now estimates that there have been have been around 121,700 more deaths than usual in the UK between the start of the pandemic and 28 January 2022, of which 1,300 have occurred this year.
“Taken together, 2020-2021 has been a remarkable two-year period, with a greater increase in mortality than we have seen since WWII,” Daneel said.
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Author: Chris Seekings