The number of coronavirus-related deaths recorded each week in England and Wales has reached its highest level in three months.
A total of 327 deaths recorded in the week ending July 23 mentioned Covid-19 on the death certificate, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
This is a 50% increase from the previous week and is the highest number since 362 deaths were recorded in the week to April 16. Deaths dropped to 84 in the week to June 11.
Latest figures reflect the impact of the third wave of Covid-19, which started in the UK in May and has led to a sharp rise in the number of new coronavirus cases as well as a smaller increase in the number of hospital patients .
The number of new cases has declined in recent weeks, but this is not yet reflected in the death data, due to the time that elapses between a person who contracts Covid-19, becomes seriously ill and then dies.
While the death toll in the past week is the highest for three months, it is still well below the level seen at the peak of the second wave when some 8,433 deaths were recorded in England and Wales during the week before January 29.
The total number of deaths recorded in England and Wales in the week to July 23 was 7.2% above the five-year pre-pandemic average, the ONS said.
The number has not been so far above average since the week of February 26.
Separate data released by the ONS on Tuesday showed that in the first wave of Covid-19, around 200 neighborhoods in England and Wales recorded at least double the number of deaths that would be expected for this period of l ‘year.
Additional deaths, or “excess deaths”, are the number of deaths above the average recorded during the pre-pandemic years of 2015-19.
Crabtree and Fir Vale in Sheffield recorded the highest number of excess deaths in the first wave, with 123 deaths between March and July 2020: 77 more than the average of 46, an excess of 167%.
Bishop Auckland Central & West in County Durham had the second highest number with 95 deaths from March to July 2020 – 56 more than the average of 39, a 144% excess.
During the second wave of the virus, from September 2020 to March 2021, the district of West St Leonards in Hastings recorded 184 deaths, 65 more than the average of 119, a number of excess deaths greater than any other neighborhood for this period.
Hadleigh in Suffolk had the second highest number: 136 deaths between September 2020 and March 2021, 57 more deaths than the average of 79.
Out of a total of 7,201 neighborhoods, only 13 in England and one in Wales recorded no deaths from Covid-19, where the coronavirus was the leading cause of death, until April 2021, said the ONS.
Most of them were in the south-west of England, including parts of Cornwall and Devon, as well as some built-up areas such as Bristol city centers and Leeds.
An area of Manchester, Castlegate and Deansfield, also recorded no deaths from Covid-19.
The only district in Wales not to have recorded any deaths from Covid-19 in April 2021 were Llandudno Junction South and Llansanffraid Glan in Conwy.