UK (Sky News)

Coronavirus: ‘One in 10’ virus deaths taking place outside hospitals – ONS

By June 21, 2020 No Comments

Nearly one in 10 coronavirus-related deaths in England and Wales happened outside hospitals in the week ending 3 April, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The 406 deaths were not included in the daily NHS and Department of Health coronavirus figures, which only count hospital deaths.

The number is made up of 217 deaths in care homes, 33 in hospices, 136 in private homes, three in other communal establishments, and 17 elsewhere.

Some 3,716 virus-related deaths were in hospitals – or 90.2% of the total, said the ONS.

The period in question does not cover last week – the UK’s worst for hospital deaths – when more than 900 people died for two days in a row.

The figures suggest the total number of virus-related deaths is significantly higher than believed.

Since the outbreak began late last year until 3 April, the ONS says there were 6,235 deaths in England and Wales – around 2,100 more than Department of Health hospital figures for the same period.

Around 2,000 care homes are believed to have had outbreaks of the virus, according to remarks on Monday by the chief medical officer.

Professor Chris Whitty said in the government’s briefing that 13.5% care homes in England had recorded cases of COVID-19.

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A London School of Economics report looking at five other European countries, including Spain, Italy and France, suggests the proportion of virus deaths in care homes could be around half.

The ONS figures count any death certificate which mentions COVID-19.

Intensive Care doctor, Alan Courtney
Critical care doctor Alan Courtney tells Sky News that there

It means the virus may have been a contributory factor and not necessarily the main cause of death and a positive
test is not required.

Other headlines from the weekly figures include:

  • In London, nearly half (46.6%) of deaths registered involved COVID-19; in the West Midlands it was 22.1%.
  • The 16,387 deaths registered in England and Wales (from all causes) is up 5,246 from the week before, and the highest since the ONS started compiling the data in 2005.
  • “Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)” was listed on 21.2% of all death certificates, up from 4.8% the week before.

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