More people are dying than expected in England and Wales for first time in two months

England today posted another 16 coronavirus deaths in its official daily death count, while no new victims were registered in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.  

Today’s fatality toll — announced by the Department of Health — is higher than the four recorded yesterday and the 12 last Tuesday. NHS England said one of the victims was under the age of 40.

Officials also confirmed another 1,184 people were diagnosed with Covid-19, pushing the daily average number of infections up for the fourth day in a row, from 1,043 to 1,056. There have now been more than 1,000 daily cases on 13 separate occasions in August.

It comes as separate government figures today revealed more people are dying than expected in England and Wales for the first time in two months. Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed 9,392 fatalities were recorded between August 8 and August 14 – around 300 more than average for that time of year.

But experts have blamed Britain’s 10-day heatwave, which saw temperatures soar to 96°F (35.7°C), for the spike in deaths because the number of Covid-19 victims dropped once again.

Only 139 deaths were blamed on the coronavirus over the seven-day spell, the lowest weekly toll since before the lockdown was imposed on March 23. For comparison, deaths from flu and pneumonia were seven times as common – with the illnesses mentioned on 1,002 death certificates during the same week. 

In other coronavirus developments in Britain today:

  • Bars and restaurants in Birmingham which flout social distancing rules will be closed after the Government rubber-stamped new powers to stop the spread of coronavirus in the city;
  • Boris Johnson is under mounting pressure to scrap Number 10’s blanket travel quarantine policy as a group of 80 MPs urged the Prime Minister to back airport testing;
  • Switzerland could be added to the UK’s quarantine travel list this weekend after a surge in coronavirus cases, with its infection rate now above the threshold of 20 cases per 100,000 people; 
  • Boris Johnson appeared to lay the groundwork for a humiliating U-turn on pupils wearing face masks in school as he said ‘if we need to change the advice then of course we will’.

HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE REALLY DIED FROM COVID-19 IN THE UK? 

Department of Health (no cut-off): 47,353

The daily Department of Health data does not represent how many Covid-19 patients died within the last 24 hours — it is only how many fatalities have been reported and registered with the authorities.

It also only takes into account patients who have ever tested positive for the virus, as opposed to deaths suspected to be down to the coronavirus.

The method came under scrutiny because it meant someone who once had Covid-19 and then recovered would be counted, even if they were hit by a bus or were in a car crash months later.

Department of Health (28-day cut off): 41,433

If someone died 28 days after testing positive for Covid-19, they wouldn’t be classed as a coronavirus death under this measure. This means that many victims who recovered and died of unrelated causes are not included.

Public Health England (60-day cut off): 45,240

This method will count a Covid-19 death as anyone who died with in 60 days of a positive result.

It leaves room for those who may have died several weeks after getting infected, considering some patients may be in hospital for a long time before they eventually die of the disease.

However, it also means some people who tested positive for the virus, recovered, and then died a while later of different causes will be picked up.

Public Health England said the 60-day cut off is better than 28 days because some patients suffer long term Covid-19 symptoms after appearing to recover, and cannot be missed out from the tally if they do not die in the immediate month after their diagnosis.

National statistical bodies: 57,167

Data compiled by the statistical bodies of each of the home nations show 57,167 people died of either confirmed or suspected Covid-19 across the UK by the end of May.

The Office for National Statistics yesterday confirmed that 52,091 people in England and Wales died with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 by August 14.

The number of coronavirus deaths was 863 by the same day in Northern Ireland, according to the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA). National Records Scotland — which collects statistics north of the border — said 4,213 people had died across the country by August 9.

Their tallies are always 10 days behind the Department of Health (DH) because they wait until as many fatalities as possible for each date have been counted, to avoid having to revise their statistics.

Excess deaths: 65,278

Excess deaths are considered to be a more accurate measure of the number of people killed by the pandemic because they include a broader spectrum of victims.

As well as including people who may have died with Covid-19 without ever being tested, the data also shows how many more people died because their medical treatment was postponed, for example, or who didn’t or couldn’t get to hospital when they were seriously ill.

Data from England and Wales shows there has been an extra 59,324 deaths between March 15 and June 12, as well as 4,953 in Scotland between March 2 and June 22 and 1,001 in Northern Ireland between March 28 and June 26.

The ONS said: ‘The rise in deaths coincided with high temperatures in England and Wales, and heatwave warnings were issued by NHS England. 

‘The increased number of deaths, and the rise above the five-year average, were likely due to the heatwave; the coronavirus did not drive the increase, as deaths involving Covid-19 continued to decrease.’

Thousands of Brits flocked to over-crowded beaches to enjoy the blistering heat during the UK’s 10 day heatwave, which saw the Met Office issue a level three heat alert. 

Level three means the temperature has exceeded a ‘heat-health’ threshold and the weather outside is hot enough to be damaging to people’s health. 

It acts as an early warning system to doctors and hospitals that people are more likely to need medical attention because of the sun. 

Hot weather is dangerous because it causes dehydration, overheating and heatstroke, all of which are potentially deadly.

People who are very young, very old or have a weaker immune system or a long-term illness are most at risk of serious complications and dying in extreme weather, doctors say.

When people overheat or become seriously dehydrated they may become breathless, dizzy, weak or even start to lose consciousness or have a seizure.

For people who already have a heart or lung problem, for example, experts warn this could be enough to make them life-threateningly ill.

Temperatures soared across England in August and hit upwards of 95F (35C) in some places, with 35.7C recorded at Heathrow Airport in London on August 11.  

It was one of the longest heatwaves on record, with temperatures exceeding 93.2F (34C) for six days in a row for the first time since records began in the 1960s.   

But the heat in southern England brought with it tremendous thunder and hail storms in western and northern parts of the UK — with floods seen early on across Lancashire and Wales.  

ONS data — which uses death certificates to take into account confirmed and suspected deaths — shows fatalities from all causes started to drop off in mid-June, after Britain fought off the worst of the Covid-19 crisis.

During the darkest fortnight of the outbreak – between April 11 and 24 – more than 23,000 ‘excess deaths’ were recorded, with the coronavirus blamed for the majority.

However, experts warned 6,000 of the deaths not put down to Covid-19 could have been in patients who did have the life-threatening illness but were just never tested, such as those who died at home.

ONS figures show just 139 deaths registered in England and Wales in the most recent week — ending August 14 — were down to coronavirus, the equivalent of 1.5 per cent of all victims.

This is the lowest toll since the seven-day spell that ended March 20, when just 103 fatalities were recorded.

It is down from the 152 registered the week before last, and marks another fall in the weekly death count, which has fallen in every week since mid-April.

Only one of the new coronavirus deaths in England and Wales was in someone under the age of 35. Around 63 per cent were over the age of 80, statistics show.

Geographical analysis of the deaths also showed that London was the only region to witness an increase in Covid-19 fatalities, from eight the week before to 18.

The South West suffered a small spike (two to four), as did the West Midlands (13 to 14). But the rest of England and Wales all recorded fewer victims than the week prior.

And all the regions except the West Midlands and Yorkshire and The Humber suffered more overall deaths than the five-year average.

The number of deaths in hospitals remained below the five-year average in the week ending August 14, while the number of deaths in private homes continued to be higher than the five-year average (812 more deaths); the number of deaths in care homes was above the five-year average (36 more deaths) for the first time since June 12.

Beachgoers made the most of the heat at Bournemouth in Dorset when temperatures pushed past 86°F (30°C) across Britain earlier this month

Beachgoers made the most of the heat at Bournemouth in Dorset when temperatures pushed past 86°F (30°C) across Britain earlier this month

A group of people are pictured playing in the sea at Bournemouth beach in Dorset during the hot weather

A group of people are pictured playing in the sea at Bournemouth beach in Dorset during the hot weather

WHICH AUTHORITIES HAVE RECORDED THE MOST COVID-19 DEATHS?

Birmingham

Leeds

County Durham

Liverpool

Sheffield

Cheshire East

Bradford

Croydon

Brent

Barnet

Wirral

Manchester

Ealing

Cheshire West and Chester

Buckinghamshire

Harrow

Walsall

Enfield

Cardiff

Stockport

1,231

716

708

582

582

555

506

497

491

458

440

423

413

412

409

401

393

392

387

379

WHICH AUTHORITIES HAVE RECORDED THE FEWEST COVID-19 DEATHS?

Isles of Scilly

City of London

Ceredigion

Hastings

South Hams

West Devon

Mid Devon

Torridge

West Lindsey

Rutland

Norwich

North Devon

Ribble Valley

Lincoln

Mendip

Melton

Ryedale

Teignbridge

Isle of Anglesey

North East Lincolnshire

0

4

7

10

12

17

18

20

23

24

25

26

27

28

28

30

32

33

34

35

Deaths being announced each day by the Department of Health have tumbled recently, too, with a total of four announced yesterday – three in England and one in Wales.

Coronavirus fatalities have all but come to an end in younger adults now, with just one death in someone under the age of 40 being confirmed in the past week. 

And although the numbers of coronavirus cases is rising again there is no evidence of this leading to more people ending up in hospital or dying, as had been feared.

Experts suggest that cases are now being picked up more often in younger people, who almost never die of the disease, and that hospitals are now better at treating Covid-19 than they were at the start of the pandemic.  

The most up-to-date government coronavirus death toll — released this afternoon — stood at 41,449. It takes into account victims who have died within 28 days of testing positive.

Ministers earlier this month scrapped the original fatality count because of concerns it was inaccurate due to it not having a time cut-off, meaning no-one could ever technically recover in England.

More than 5,000 deaths were knocked off the original toll. The rolling average number of daily coronavirus deaths dropped drastically — from around 59 to fewer than ten. 

The deaths data does not represent how many Covid-19 patients died within the last 24 hours. It is only how many fatalities have been reported and registered with the authorities.

And the figure does not always match updates provided by the home nations. Department of Health officials work off a different time cut-off, meaning daily updates from Scotland and Northern Ireland are out of sync.

The toll announced by NHS England every day, which only takes into account fatalities in hospitals, doesn’t match up with the DH figures because they work off a different recording system.

For instance, some deaths announced by NHS England bosses will have already been counted by the Department of Health, which records fatalities ‘as soon as they are available’.

Department of Health officials also declare new Covid-19 cases every afternoon. Today they revealed another 1,184 Brits had tested positive for the life-threatening disease.

It means around 1,056 Britons are being diagnosed with the disease each day. For comparison, fewer than 550 cases were being recorded each day, on average, at the start of July.

The spike in cases — alongside a resurgence of the virus in Europe — prompted fears of a second wave. But top experts have insisted the rise is merely down to more testing in badly-hit areas. 

HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE DIED OF COVID-19 IN YOUR LOCAL AUTHORITY?
Birmingham 1,231 Chorley 117
Leeds 716 Cherwell 116
County Durham 708 Wyre Forest 116
Liverpool 582 South Derbyshire 114
Sheffield 582 Elmbridge 114
Cheshire East 555 Welwyn Hatfield 113
Bradford 506 Colchester 112
Croydon 497 Havant 112
Brent 491 Wrexham 112
Barnet 458 Hartlepool 111
Wirral 440 Slough 111
Manchester 423 High Peak 111
Ealing 413 Winchester 111
Cheshire West and Chester 412 Wychavon 110
Buckinghamshire 409 Peterborough 107
Harrow 401 Erewash 107
Walsall 393 Kettering 107
Enfield 392 Denbighshire 107
Cardiff 387 Portsmouth 106
Stockport 379 Sevenoaks 106
Sandwell 376 Vale of Glamorgan 106
Wiltshire 366 Hinckley and Bosworth 105
Wigan 356 Broxtowe 105
Wakefield 355 South Staffordshire 105
Bromley 345 Mole Valley 105
Rotherham 339 Tewkesbury 104
Sunderland 337 Warwick 104
Kirklees 325 Neath Port Talbot 103
Bolton 324 North Lincolnshire 102
Salford 324 Telford and Wrekin 102
East Riding of Yorkshire 320 Amber Valley 102
Derby 318 Gravesham 102
Leicester 318 East Hertfordshire 101
Wolverhampton 318 Conwy 101
Hillingdon 315 Castle Point 99
Dudley 314 Eastleigh 99
Redbridge 313 East Northamptonshire 99
Newham 310 Fareham 98
Tameside 307 North Hertfordshire 98
Sefton 302 Blackburn with Darwen 97
Rhondda Cynon Taf 302 Fylde 96
Lewisham 294 Guildford 96
Lambeth 292 Spelthorne 95
Coventry 288 Powys 95
Northumberland 282 Rochford 94
Northampton 281 Bridgend 94
Central Bedfordshire 279 South Ribble 93
Solihull 278 Breckland 93
Havering 276 Tandridge 93
Haringey 274 Bath and North East Somerset 92
Oldham 266 Stroud 92
Doncaster 264 Darlington 91
Shropshire 260 Plymouth 91
Southwark 254 Surrey Heath 90
Bristol, City of 253 Brentwood 89
Waltham Forest 252 Three Rivers 88
Barnsley 251 Rushcliffe 88
Newcastle upon Tyne 250 Chesterfield 86
Trafford 249 North Warwickshire 86
Bury 242 Carmarthenshire 86
Bexley 242 Rushmoor 85
Nottingham 238 Scarborough 85
Hounslow 238 Isle of Wight 84
Gateshead 237 East Hampshire 83
Rochdale 232 Tunbridge Wells 83
Warrington 231 Cambridge 82
Greenwich 228 Blaby 82
Hackney 228 Chichester 82
East Suffolk 222 Fenland 81
Kingston upon Hull, City of 216 Epsom and Ewell 81
Wandsworth 216 Allerdale 80
Luton 215 Barrow-in-Furness 80
Basildon 213 Derbyshire Dales 80
Cornwall 210 Cannock Chase 80
Southend-on-Sea 207 Staffordshire Moorlands 79
Middlesbrough 206 Worthing 79
Merton 205 Pendle 78
Harrogate 204 Daventry 78
Swansea 204 Mansfield 78
Stoke-on-Trent 203 Newark and Sherwood 78
St. Helens 201 Crawley 78
Medway 199 West Suffolk 78
Milton Keynes 199 Oxford 77
Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole 189 Mid Suffolk 77
Tower Hamlets 188 Woking 77
Westminster 188 Broxbourne 76
Epping Forest 184 Tonbridge and Malling 76
Reigate and Banstead 181 Harlow 75
Hertsmere 180 Rugby 74
Sutton 180 Monmouthshire 74
Bedford 179 Eastbourne 73
Ashford 174 Hambleton 73
Tendring 172 Bassetlaw 73
York 171 Tamworth 73
Hammersmith and Fulham 171 Runnymede 73
South Gloucestershire 170 Broadland 72
Mid Sussex 169 Lancaster 71
Swindon 168 South Kesteven 71
Southampton 168 Bracknell Forest 70
Stratford-on-Avon 168 Wellingborough 69
Barking and Dagenham 167 Sedgemoor 69
Reading 166 Craven 68
Brighton and Hove 165 Arun 68
South Tyneside 164 Gwynedd 68
Nuneaton and Bedworth 163 North West Leicestershire 67
Camden 163 Torfaen 66
Newport 163 Merthyr Tydfil 66
Dorset 162 Burnley 65
Thanet 161 Oadby and Wigston 64
East Staffordshire 159 Blaenau Gwent 64
Stockton-on-Tees 157 Copeland 63
North Tyneside 156 Hyndburn 63
Islington 153 Harborough 63
Richmond upon Thames 153 Worcester 63
Chelmsford 152 Uttlesford 62
North Somerset 151 South Cambridgeshire 61
Wokingham 151 Redditch 61
South Lakeland 150 Stevenage 60
Thurrock 149 South Norfolk 59
Folkestone and Hythe 148 Babergh 59
Blackpool 147 Torbay 58
Ashfield 147 Rother 58
Gloucester 145 Cotswold 58
North East Derbyshire 144 Gosport 58
Newcastle-under-Lyme 144 South Holland 58
Knowsley 144 South Northamptonshire 58
King’s Lynn and West Norfolk 142 South Somerset 58
Flintshire 142 Bolsover 55
Waverley 141 East Lindsey 55
Canterbury 140 North Norfolk 55
Bromsgrove 137 Rossendale 54
Carlisle 136 East Cambridgeshire 51
St Albans 136 Richmondshire 51
Cheltenham 135 Malvern Hills 51
Preston 135 East Devon 50
Redcar and Cleveland 134 Corby 50
Huntingdonshire 134 Hart 49
Caerphilly 134 Great Yarmouth 49
Dover 133 Forest of Dean 48
West Berkshire 132 Somerset West and Taunton 48
Kingston upon Thames 132 North Kesteven 46
Windsor and Maidenhead 131 Selby 46
New Forest 131 Eden 44
Halton 129 Pembrokeshire 42
Herefordshire, County of 127 Adur 40
Dartford 127 Exeter 39
Ipswich 127 North East Lincolnshire 35
Kensington and Chelsea 127 Maldon 35
Dacorum 125 Boston 35
Watford 125 Isle of Anglesey 34
Swale 125 Teignbridge 33
Wealden 123 Ryedale 32
Charnwood 123 Melton 30
Vale of White Horse 123 Lincoln 28
Horsham 123 Mendip 28
Calderdale 122 Ribble Valley 27
Braintree 121 North Devon 26
Gedling 121 Norwich 25
Lichfield 121 Rutland 24
Wyre 120 West Lindsey 23
West Oxfordshire 120 Torridge 20
Stafford 120 Mid Devon 18
Test Valley 119 West Devon 17
West Lancashire 119 South Hams 12
South Oxfordshire 118 Hastings 10
Lewes 117 Ceredigion 7
Basingstoke and Deane 117 City of London 4
Maidstone 117 Isles of Scilly 0

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