The Office for National Statistics has released new figures on the number of deaths from coronavirus.
The data gives us the most accurate picture of where deaths occur.
Unlike the statistics we have heard before, these include all community deaths linked to Covid-19 in England and Wales.
According to the data, which covers seven days, 539 death certificates mentioned the coronavirus, which represents 4.8% of all deaths during the week preceding March 27.
This increased from 1% of deaths the previous week.
These figures seem to be lower than the current total number of deaths in the UK – which stands at 5,373 – as most deaths from coronavirus have occurred in the past 10 days as the pandemic accelerates.
The vast majority of coronavirus deaths occur in hospitals – 501 of the 539 deaths analyzed here – but some also occur in hospices and nursing homes, says the ONS.
Why this increase?
The latest data captures more than the hospital deaths of patients who tested positive for the coronavirus and therefore definitely had the infection.
It examines deaths in the community – people who died at home or in a care facility that doctors recorded on the death certificate as likely having Covid-19.
What does that tell us?
Experts have always said that there would be more deaths from coronavirus than those recorded in hospital data.
Currently, there are not enough tests to verify how many people in the community are infected or how many deaths are related to Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
So while these new provisional community figures are important to collect and analyze to help better understand Covid-19, they cannot shed much light on the true record.
For now, daily government figures on hospital deaths are still the most accurate measure we have of the epidemic and how the NHS is coping.
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Why do they only go back to March 27?
It takes at least five days for most of the deaths to be certified by a doctor, recorded and the data processed, which means that the numbers are still slightly out of date.
There will be weekly updates from the NSO on coronavirus deaths in hospitals and the community, allowing experts to start looking at the numbers to track the epidemic.
Are they telling us anything else?
The data shows what the experts told us – that some people are at a higher risk for complications. This includes people over the age of 70 and those with underlying health conditions.
While everyone is urged to keep their distance from others to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, some people with underlying health conditions need to take extra care to protect themselves.
More than 1.5 million people most at risk of needing hospital treatment if they catch coronavirus are asked to stay at home to protect themselves.