Deaths below five year average for third week running

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The number of deaths registered in England and Wales was below the five-year average for the third consecutive week, the Office for National Statistics has said.

Some 10,045 deaths were registered in the week to March 26, 5.0% below the average for the corresponding period in 2015-19.

Prior to the three most recent weeks, the last time deaths had been below average was in the week to September 4 2020.

A total of 719 deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending March 26 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) – the lowest number since the week ending October 16.

The figure is down 25% on the previous week’s total.

Around one in 14 (7.2%) of all deaths registered in England and Wales in the week to March 26 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate.

It comes after researchers said the prevalence of coronavirus cases in England dropped by around 60% from February to March, with recent data suggesting the decline is “levelling off”.

Steven Riley, professor of infectious disease dynamics at Imperial College London, said that the vaccination programme is “breaking the link” between covid infections and deaths.



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