Covid deaths in England and Wales plunge to lowest level since BEFORE first lockdown last March

Weekly Covid deaths have fallen to their lowest level since before the first lockdown last year in England and Wales, official data has revealed.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today showed weekly Covid death occurrences fell to 73 in the week ending May 14 — the lowest level the week ending March 13, 2020 (44).

Weekly Covid registered deaths increased slightly from 129 to 151 from the week ending May 7 to the most recent week but this was because of the bank holiday weekend at the start of the month.

Every region in England saw zero Covid deaths on at least one day during the week other than the West Midlands — and no area saw more than five per day.

The East Midland and South West had the fewest during the week (both three) while the West Midlands saw 16 over the same period.

The figures come amid fears surrounding growing case numbers of the Indian variant in hotspots of England, with Britons today told not to travel to Bolton, Blackburn with Darwen, Kirklees, Bedford, Burnley, Leicester, Hounslow and North Tyneside.

The Indian variant has already spread to almost half the country, or 151 out of 315 council areas, and is thought to now be the dominant strain in the country having displaced the Kent variant. Estimates suggest it may be around 30 per cent more transmissible. 

Death numbers usually follow cases by two weeks so the ONS figures today from the week ending May 14 will not have been affected by the slight uptick in infections caused by the Indian variant. 

Weekly Covid deaths have fallen to their lowest level since before the first lockdown last year in England and Wales, official data has revealed. Pictured: Weekly Covid registered deaths increased slightly from 129 to 151 from the week ending May 7 to the most recent week but this came as a result of the bank holiday weekend at the start of the month

Weekly Covid deaths have fallen to their lowest level since before the first lockdown last year in England and Wales, official data has revealed. Pictured: Weekly Covid registered deaths increased slightly from 129 to 151 from the week ending May 7 to the most recent week but this came as a result of the bank holiday weekend at the start of the month

Weekly Covid deaths have fallen to their lowest level since before the first lockdown last year in England and Wales, official data has revealed. Pictured: Weekly Covid registered deaths increased slightly from 129 to 151 from the week ending May 7 to the most recent week but this came as a result of the bank holiday weekend at the start of the month

Every region in England saw zero Covid deaths on at least one day during the week other than the West Midlands — and no area saw more than five per day. The East Midland and South West saw the fewest during the week (both three) while the West Midlands saw 16 over the same period

Every region in England saw zero Covid deaths on at least one day during the week other than the West Midlands — and no area saw more than five per day. The East Midland and South West saw the fewest during the week (both three) while the West Midlands saw 16 over the same period

Every region in England saw zero Covid deaths on at least one day during the week other than the West Midlands — and no area saw more than five per day. The East Midland and South West saw the fewest during the week (both three) while the West Midlands saw 16 over the same period

The figures also show influenza and pneumonia are now the underlying cause for nearly three times as many weekly deaths (287) as Covid (108)

The figures also show influenza and pneumonia are now the underlying cause for nearly three times as many weekly deaths (287) as Covid (108)

The figures also show influenza and pneumonia are now the underlying cause for nearly three times as many weekly deaths (287) as Covid (108)

Most of the deaths occurred in people age 85 and over (48), followed by those aged 75 to 85 (35), 45 to 64 (32), 65 to 75 (31), and 15 to 45 (five)

Most of the deaths occurred in people age 85 and over (48), followed by those aged 75 to 85 (35), 45 to 64 (32), 65 to 75 (31), and 15 to 45 (five)

Most of the deaths occurred in people age 85 and over (48), followed by those aged 75 to 85 (35), 45 to 64 (32), 65 to 75 (31), and 15 to 45 (five)

The ONS figures released today also show influenza and pneumonia are now the underlying cause for nearly three times as many weekly deaths (287) as Covid (108).

Most of the deaths occurred in people age 85 and over (48), followed by those aged 75 to 85 (35), 45 to 64 (32), 65 to 75 (31), and 15 to 45 (five). 

Some 30 care home resident deaths involving Covid in England and Wales were registered in the week to May 14, double the number for the previous week.

The week-on-week change will have been affected by the bank holiday on May 3, when registry offices were likely to be closed, the ONS said.

In total, 42,461 care home residents in England and Wales have had Covid recorded on their death certificate since the pandemic began.

The ONS figures cover deaths of care home residents in all settings, not just in care homes.

A total of 153,093 deaths have now occurred in the UK where Covid was mentioned on the death certificate, the ONS said.

The highest number of deaths to occur on a single day was 1,477 on January 19. During the first wave of the virus, the daily death toll peaked at 1,461 deaths on April 8 2020.

‘GOBSMACKED’ LOCAL LEADERS CONDEMN THE GOVERNMENT FOR ADVISING AGAINST TRAVEL TO COVID HOTSPOTS 

MPs and local health chiefs voiced shock today after the government advised against travel to Indian variant hotspots – but did not tell anyone about the change for four days.

Politicians said they were ‘gobsmacked’ that the guidance on gov.uk had been updated on Friday to say only ‘essential’ visits should be made to affected areas, without any formal announcement being made.

People are being urged not to move in or out of Bolton, Blackburn, Kirklees, Bedford, Burnley, Leicester, Hounslow and North Tyneside unless it is unavoidable – although there is no legal restriction.

A televised press briefing on Wednesday, which focused heavily on the Indian variant, did not reference any specific travel measures for the affected areas.

Labour MP Ruth Cadbury ridiculed the restrictions on Hounslow in London, pointing out that the Picadilly line and the A4 both run through the borough to Heathrow Airport.

It comes as Britons are being warned they may be forced to isolate for 10 days if they come into contact with an infected person after June 21 even if they have been fully vaccinated.

The threat of having to quarantine will likely undermine plans to return to normality next month, even for those who have received two Covid jabs.

It could also mean a far slower return to the office for some, as a single infection could still spark a mass quarantine of staff, even if most have been vaccinated. Having a subsequent negative test would not be enough to bring about an end to the quarantine.

Government sources say it is crucial that the contract tracing system stay in place because it is still possible for vaccinated people to pass on coronavirus. One told The Telegraph: ‘There is still a risk of getting the virus and spreading it on.’

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