Covid is no longer the leading cause of death for the first time since OCTOBER: Official data shows virus fell behind dementia and heart disease in March – as interactive map shows how many people have REALLY died of the disease in your neighbourhood
- Office for National Statistics data shows Covid accounted for 4,387 out of total 48,551 deaths (9%) in March
- Virus had been leading cause of death for past four months after emergence of highly-infectious Kent variant
- Meanwhile, an interactive map breaks down the number of Covid deaths by postcode throughout pandemic
Coronavirus is no longer the leading cause of death in England and Wales for the first time since October, according to official statistics which strengthen the argument for a quicker easing of lockdown.
Office for National Statistics data shows Covid was only the third biggest killer in March, accounting for 4,387 out of total 48,551 deaths (9 per cent).
It had been the leading cause of death for the past four months after the emergence of the highly-infectious Kent variant last autumn. Covid deaths have fallen even further this month.
Alzheimer’s and Dementia was the biggest killer last month in England and Wales, with 4,915 deaths recorded (10.1 per cent), followed by heart disease and strokes which accounted for 4904 deaths (also 10.1 per cent).
The East Midlands was the English region with the highest Covid victims at 103.8 per 100,000, followed by the West Midlands (103.8), while the South West continued to have the lowest Covid death rate, at 45.7.
The findings may put more pressure on Boris Johnson to release the country from lockdown quicker, with the next relaxation not due for almost another month.
Mr Johnson has promised to stick to ‘data, not dates’ when it comes to easing curbs but has so far refused to move quicker despite vanishingly Covid low deaths and fewer than 2,000 virus patients being treated by the NHS.
Meanwhile, an interactive map breaking down Covid deaths by postcode shows 4,187 out of 7,200 neighborhoods recorded no virus fatalities during the month of March. This was compared to 1,303 in February. No area suffered more than 10 coronavirus deaths last month.
Overall, there were 656 more deaths from all causes in England in March than average in a non-pandemic year, while there were 87 fewer fatalities in Wales compared to the five-year average.
Office for National Statistics data shows coronavirus is no longer the leading cause of death in England for the first time since October. It has been overtaken by Alzheimer’s and dementia, and heart diseases
The virus has also dropped down to third in Wales, where ischaemic heart diseases were the biggest killer in March followed by dementia
It comes after other data showed Britain is no longer one of the 20 worst-hit countries for excess deaths during the coronavirus pandemic, figures show.
The UK has suffered 121,000 more deaths than expected since March last year — a rate of 183 excess fatalities per 100,000 people, according to analysis of official figures by the Economist, putting it at number 21 behind Italy (197).
Excess deaths are calculated by taking fatalities from all causes since the pandemic first struck and comparing them with a historical average from recent years.
It is the first time that Britain has not had one of the worst excess death rates since the Covid crisis took off, after turning the tide on the virus thanks to a hugely successful vaccination programme and winter lockdown.
Overall, the UK has still been one of the hardest hit nations in the world, suffering more than 127,000 Covid deaths in total. Only a handful of countries have more deaths both overall and per population size.
Peru, which is in the midst of battling a wave of the Brazilian coronavirus variant, has the highest rate of excess deaths in the world at 412 per 100,000. Rounding out the top five are Bulgaria (338), Mexico (321), Russia (313) and Lithuania (301).
Fourteen other countries — including a number of EU member states, South Africa, and Ecuador — are recording rates of more than 200 excess deaths per 100,00. The US ranks at number 23, according to the analysis, with a rate just shy of Britain’s at 182 per 100,000.
The excess fatality rate is one of the best ways to compare the pandemic’s impact on countries because it looks at more than just the official Covid death tolls. It includes people who died without the confirmation of a test, and those who passed from other causes as a result of lockdowns and their knock-on effects on hospital care.
Excess deaths in the UK have been falling since the vaccine drive launched and the country went into lockdown over the winter. Deaths from all causes in England and Wales have been lower than average in the past five weeks, which has helped drive the rate down faster.
On top of a brutal four-month lockdown over winter, Britain’s hugely successful vaccine rollout has helped it finally turn the tide on the Covid pandemic.
More than 33million people have been given at least one dose of vaccine and over 10million have received both injections.
Britain is no longer one of the 20 worst-hit countries for excess deaths during the pandemic, figures show. The UK has a rolling rate of 183 excess fatalities per 100,000, according to analysis by the Economist , putting it at number 21 behind Italy (197). Peru, which is in the midst of battling a wave of the Brazilian coronavirus variant, has the highest rate in the world at 412 per 100,000. Rounding out the top five are Bulgaria (338), Mexico (321), Russia (313) and Lithuania (301)
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