The weekly increase in deaths “was caused by a heat wave, not a coronavirus”


Deaths in England and Wales for the latest available week were 307 above the five-year average (Photo: ONS /

England and Wales saw a rise in weekly deaths, but it was not because of the coronavirus, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The rise was “likely due to the heat wave” that saw temperatures reach the mid-1930s across the UK for days and days, the ONS said.

There were 9,392 deaths from all causes in England and Wales in the week ending August 14, 447 more than the week before.

This was 3.4% above the five-year average for this time of year. This is the first time that the average has been exceeded since June 12.

A park police car patrols by bathers on Hampstead Heath as temperatures rise in London on August 7, 2020 (Photo by Tolga AKMEN / AFP) (Photo by TOLGA AKMEN / AFP via Getty Images)

The British were suffocated by the heatwave for days on end (Photo: AFP / Getty)

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Meanwhile, coronavirus-related deaths are steadily declining.

There were 139 deaths recorded in the week ending August 14 that mentioned the “novel coronavirus,” an 8.6% drop from 152 deaths the week before.

This is the lowest number of weekly deaths involving Covid-19 on record since the week ending March 20, before the lockdown.

The ONS said: ‘The increase in the number of deaths between weeks 32 and 33 coincided with high temperatures in England and Wales, and heatwave warnings were issued by NHS England.

Beachgoers are packing Brighton beach on England's south coast as the temperature is expected to hit 37C on August 7, 2020, the second day of the heatwave.  (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) (Photo by GLYN KIRK / AFP via Getty Images)

Beach goers packed Brighton beach in the first week of August (Photo: AFP / Getty)

BOURNEMOUTH, ENGLAND - AUG 07: General view of tourists on the beach on August 7, 2020 in Bournemouth, England.  Parts of England are experiencing a three-day heat wave with temperatures expected to reach as high as 38 degrees centigrade in the south-east.  (Photo by Finnbarr Webster / Getty Images)

Temperatures soared in the mid-1930s across the UK (Photo: Getty)

Weather photo:

The heatwave earlier this month has now given way to severe windy weather, with Storm Francis bringing gales of 70 mph and heavy rain this week (Photo:

“The increase in the number of deaths and the rise above the five-year average was probably due to the heatwave; the coronavirus did not drive the increase, as deaths involving Covid-19 continued to decline in week 33. ”

Among the deaths recorded in the week before August 14, 139 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, 152 less than the previous week.

Seven regions of England had above-average deaths. They were the North East of England (11.1% above), the East Midlands (9.9% above), London (5.5% above), the North West of the ‘England (5.2% above), South West England (4.3% above), East England (1.4% above) and South east of England (1.3%).

In two regions, the number of recorded deaths was below average – the West Midlands (2.1% below) and Yorkshire and the Humber (2.2% below).

In Wales, the number of deaths recorded in the week to August 14 was 9.4% above the five-year average.

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